Dubai Tennis: Stefanos Tsitsipas underlines UAE title credentials with Marseille win

The No 5 seed will arrive in Dubai for his first-round match with Matthew Ebden full of confidence

Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece celebrates after defeating Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan during their final match at the Open 13 Provence tennis tournament in Marseille, southern France, Sunday Feb. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
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Stefanos Tsitsipas underlined his title credentials for the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships by winning the Marseille Open on Sunday.

The 7-5, 7-6 victory over Mikhail Kukushkin in the final moves him up to No 11 in the new ATP world rankings published on Monday morning.

The Greek did not drop a set all week and arrives in Dubai full of confidence for his bid to win back-to-back ATP titles.

Tsitsipas, who won the NextGen title last season, has continued his sharp rise in 2019, having come from a set down to beat defending champion Roger Federer at the Australian Open in January in the fourth round.

The 20 year old would go on to reach the semi-finals, losing to Rafael Nadal, but his searing groundstrokes and willingness to be brave and go for winners from all angles made him a hit with fans across the world.

Now the UAE will see if he can maintain his momentum.

This is Tsitsipas's second time in Dubai. He reached the quarter-finals 12 months ago, but with more experience will expect to be a serious contender this year.

He is the No 5 seed and will start his challenge against Australian Matthew Ebden.

Robin Haase or Egor Gerasimov are possible second round opponents, with No 1 seed Kei Nishikori the scheduled quarter-final opponent if the draw goes to form.

And a potential rematch with Federer? We will have to wait until the final for that tantilizing prospect.