Novak Djokovic returns to Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

It looks like Novak Djokovic will compete in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships next month after an early entry list for the ATP 500 event was widely shared online.

Djokovic has yet to play this year after his much-discussed and controversial visa spat in Australia, which ended with the eviction of the world number 1 shortly before the start of the Australian Open.

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The 34-year-old Serb had arrived in Melbourne with a medical exemption from the mandatory Covid-19 vaccination, but after courts initially overturned the Border Force’s decision to revoke his visa, the Australian government’s ruling to grant him to be removed from the country. .

Djokovic has yet to confirm his schedule, but with the event in Dubai less than four weeks away, the 20-time Grand Slam champion is expected to make his first appearance of the year in the Emirates.

Djokovic has regularly competed in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships throughout his career, having competed 11 times since making his debut in 2007 and winning the title five times, most recently in 2020. He was in Dubai earlier this month when he passed through the airport on his way back to Belgrade after his deportation from Australia.

According to the leaked entry list, Djokovic will be joined in Dubai by Russian No. 6 Andrey Rublev, Canadian No. 9 Auger-Aliassime, Italy’s 10th Jannick Sinner, Polish No. 11 Hubert Hurkacz, Canadian No. 14 Denis Shapovalov, and Russian defending champion. Aslan Karatsev, number 15.

Other players on the list include 2018 Dubai winner Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain, France’s No. 20 Gael Monfils and former US Open champion Marin Cilic of Croatia.

The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in 2022, scheduled to take place from February 21 to 26, will be the 30th edition of the event. Swiss great Roger Federer is the tournament’s most successful player with a record eight titles.

The ATP tournament follows the week after the WTA competition, which on Tuesday announced a stacked lineup consisting of nine of the top 10 in the world and 17 of the top 20.

Confirmed players include Aryna Sabalenka, the world number three and defending champion Garbine Muguruza, and two-time Dubai winner Simona Halep.

Djokovic wins Dubai title in 2020

Updated: January 26, 2022, 7:00 AM

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