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Murray faces tough test in Dubai – News

Murray faces tough test in Dubai – News

If Murray hopes to work his way through the minefield in the draw’s top half, he will have to overcome the dangerous Hubert Herkage

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Alexei Popyrin, Thanasi Kokkinakis with Dubai Duty Free officials at the draw ceremony. — Dubai Duty Free Tennis

published: Saturday, February 25, 2023 at 10:34 pm

Last updated: Saturday, February 25, 2023 at 10:35 pm

Luck works in mysterious ways, as Britain’s Andy Murray brutally discovered on Saturday as he faced a tough opener at the 31st edition of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, with Novak Djokovic in the middle. Seeking a sixth title.

While the Serbian world number one will start his campaign against the qualifiers or the lucky losers, Murray will have to overcome the dangerous Hubert Hertz if he hopes to work his way through the minefield in the tie’s top half. Erkaci could win a second Dubai crown in 2017.

Murray and Hulkacs met three times last year, with the Polish player winning two of them at the French Moselle Open and Cincinnati Western and Southern Open. However, the Englishman won his third and most recent encounter in three sets at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna.

The 32-player draw was held at the Parliament at the Dubai Tennis Stadium in the presence of Dubai Duty Free and ATP officials and featured four of the world’s top 10 players and defending champion Andrey Rublev.

Defending champion and second seed Rublev, drawn in the bottom half, will open their match against world number 67 Filip Krajinovic of Serbia.

Meanwhile, third seed Daniel Medvedev faces a potential semi-final if he wins his opening match.

In another potentially intriguing first-round match, world number 16 Alexander Zverev of Germany and the Dubai No. 7 seed will face world number 52 Giri Lechka of the Czech Republic, while Canada’s fourth seed and world No. 9 Felix Auger-Aliassime starts against world No. 37 French-born American Maxime Cressy.

Also in the bottom half of the draw, sixth seed Karen Khachanov started his campaign against Netherlands’ Botic van der Zandshoup.

Meanwhile, Britain’s number one Daniel Evans, also drawn to Djokovic’s half, will face Croatia’s eighth seed and world number 20 Borna Coric in the first round.

Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free, who has been the heart and soul of tennis in Dubai for almost three decades, reflects on this year’s event.

“We have a very strong roster this year and the draw has produced some fascinating games that will excite our loyal fans,” McLaughlin said.

Salah Tahlak, co-chief operating officer of Dubai Duty Free and tournament director of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships for the past 20 years, revealed the names of the wild cards.

“The draw opens the door for some exciting rivalries between elite players and we can’t wait for the games to get underway,” he said as he announced the names of the three players who received wild cards to enter the main draw.

The first is Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis, who will face a qualifier.

Tunisian Malik Jaziri, who is about to retire after the Dubai Championship, is also a wild card.

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