DUBAI: World number one Novak Djokovic will be on a mission to recapture the title he surrendered to Roger Federer when he competes for a seventh straight time at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships this month.
After taking his fourth Australian Open title last month Djokovic will arrive full of confidence that he can wrestle back the crown he held for three consecutive years from 2009 to 2011.
“Novak Djokovic has shown what a great champion he is by winning the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships three times, a feat equalled only by Roger Federer between 2003 and 2005,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman of Tournament owners and organisers Dubai Duty Free.
“He has shown over and over again in the marathon matches he has played at the Grand Slams that he is a fighter of the highest quality, and we can expect him to give everything he has to justify his number one seeding as he attempts to re-take his title.”
The Serbian first played in Dubai in 2007, losing in the quarter-finals to arch rival Federer in three sets. The next year he fell to eventual champion Andy Roddick in the semis, before getting a firm grip on the trophy for the next three years before Andy Murray ended his 18 match winning streak in the 2012 semi-finals.
Now he will be back to compete against a tough field that includes not only defending champion Federer but other top 10 opponents in the form of charismatic Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 2012 Davis Cup winner Tomas Berdych, fellow Serb Janko Tipsarevic and former US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro, who took the bronze medal over Djokovic at the Olympics in 2012.
One other player he will be watching out for though is young gun Bernard Tomic, who inflicted a rare defeat on him in the Hopman Cup in January this year. After the defeat Djokovic admitted he wasn’t yet close to his best but still praised Tomic.