For full draw, please click here: ATP Dubai 2013 Draw
After a week of WTA in Dubai, the focus shifts to the men for the Dubai Tennis Championships. Located at the Aviation Club Tennis Centre, the ATP 500 hard court tournament hosts its 21st edition. No.2 seed Roger Federer has a record five titles here while top seed Novak Djokovic won three times in a row from 2009-2011.
Hoping to repeat the aforementioned successes this year, Djokovic faces his fellow Serbian Viktor Troicki in round one. After defeating Djokovic in their first meeting, Troicki has taken just four sets in the twelve straight defeats to the No.1. David Goffin hopes to reverse his horrible run of form against Roberto Bautista-Agut, Goffin has won just one main tour match this year but should have better luck against his Spanish opponent whose serve was broken seven times against Gilles Simon in a 6-3 6-1 defeat in Marseille. Dangerous qualifiers that could face Lukas Rosol in round one include Daniel Brands and Matthias Bachinger with the winner facing either Paul-Henri Mathieu or Andreas Seppi. Seppi was a surprise first round loser in Rotterdam but will not have a better chance to reverse his 0-4 record against the Frenchman, although they have not played since 2009.
It looks fairly straight forward for Juan Martin Del Potro who should cruise into the semi finals with his draw, although the same was expected of the Argentinian in Marseille before his surprise defeat to Gilles Simon. His section contains three qualifiers and Somdev Devvarman whom Del Potro should have far too much for. Marcos Baghdatis awaits in round one but the Cypriot has not been in the greatest of form recently. Presuming Mikhail Youzhny has recovered from the injury that forced his retirement in Rotterdam, he looks the likely quarter final opponent for Del Potro. Youzhny plays Blaz Kavcic in the opener who is generally more suited to clay but did push Lleyton Hewitt in Memphis as well as shocking Baghdatis in Zagreb.
The second of three ties in the first round between two players from the same country is a French affair with Jo Wilfried Tsonga playing Michael Llodra. Llodra looked impressive as usual during the French indoor swing but it should be totally different here. In recent years he has struggled on outdoor hard courts, with a losing record in each of the past four years so expect Tsonga to outclass his compatriot here. After an inspired run to the semi finals in Marseille, Dmitry Tursunov is the recipient of a wildcard and gets a nice draw against Jan Hajek who made it past the first round of a main tour event for the first time since 2010 in Montpellier. In the lead up to an expected quarter final (and repeat of Marseille final), Tomas Berdych should have little trouble with wildcard Rajeev Ram or the winner of the Tobias Kamke/Mikhail Kukushkin, the latter of which is yet to win since his return from injury this year.
After being refused a wildcard for this very tournament last year despite being top Arab player, Malek Jaziri is granted one this time round and gets a plum tie against Roger Federer. Federer was far from his best in the shock defeat from Julien Benneteau but it would be a major surprise to see such a poor performance two weeks running. If he is to defend his title then major improvement will be needed but the opening two rounds will allow the Swiss to play himself back into form. A Spaniard awaits in round two – Marcel Granollers plays Albert Montanes for the opportunity to face Federer. Montanes may struggle with the switch from clay to hard courts, unlike Granollers who has been playing indoors although results have been less than spectacular. Bernard Tomic will need to put his Marseille defeat (where he blew five match points against Tsonga) behind him quickly with a likely second rounder against Janko Tipsarevic or Nikolay Davydenko. The Australian should make light work of Victor Hanescu but things will be much tougher next round. Tipsarevic has lost three straight matches while Davydenko’s inconsistency make it hard to predict what will happen, though the ability is still all there.