World No 1 Andy Murray will make an appearance in the men’s doubles at the 2017 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and will partner former No 1 doubles player Nenad Zimonjic.
Murray, who will also be bidding for his first Dubai singles title having been a losing finalist in 2012, will join forces with the 2007 Dubai doubles champion.
Serbian Zimonjic is one of the most successful doubles players in history, winning 54 titles so far in his career, including three grand slam titles at Wimbledon (2008, 2009) and the French Open in 2010.
Murray and Zimonjic will face stiff competition for the title from Australian Open doubles champions Henri Kontinen and John Peers.
Finland’s Kontinen and Peers from Australia claimed their first joint grand slam title in Melbourne last month when they defeated American brothers Bob and Mike Bryan in the final. Given their recent form as a pair, which includes titles at the Paris Masters and ATP World Tour Finals at the end of last season, Kontinen and Peers will be the team to beat in Dubai.
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Daniel Nestor, another great of the doubles game, will also be competing in Dubai. The Canadian former world No 1’s 91 titles, which includes eight grand slams, puts him third in the all-time list of doubles players, behind the Bryan brothers. Among those titles include two from Dubai, in 2002 and 2015.
“Watching the doubles is always an exciting and rewarding experience,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free.
“There are many thrilling battles throughout the week and the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium is standing room only for the finals. With several of the most outstanding players of the last decade and more, and with the extra thrill of seeing the world’s No 1 singles player on the doubles court, Dubai’s tennis fans can look forward to one of the most exciting tournaments ever to be staged here.”
The 2017 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship kicks off with the WTA tournament on February 19. Six of the world’s top 10 players will be competing, including two-time grand slam champion and world No 2 Angelique Kerber, US Open finalist and world No 3 Karolina Pliskova, WTA Tour Finals winner and world No 5 Dominika Cibulkova, and reigning French Open champion and world No 7 Garbine Muguruza.
The ATP event then follows from February 27 and will celebrate its 25th anniversary. Among Murray’s challengers will be the man who beat him five years ago, seven-time Dubai champion Roger Federer. The former world No 1 will return to Dubai after clinching his 18th grand slam title in Australia.
World No 3 Stan Wawrinka will be back to defend his title, while two-time Dubai finalist Tomas Berdych and world No 10 Gael Monfils are also confirmed.
Tickets are still available from the Box Office at the Dubai Tennis Stadium, Garhoud which opens from 9am to 9pm daily. Tickets are also available online through the official website.
* The National staff
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