British icon Andy Murray returns to Dubai for DDF Championships

The three-time Grand Slam champion joins a strong field led by reigning champion Daniil Medvedev and 2022 winner Andrey Rublev

By Team KT

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2017 Dubai champion Andy Murray. — Supplied photo
2017 Dubai champion Andy Murray. — Supplied photo

Published: Thu 1 Feb 2024, 11:16 AM

The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships will welcome three former champions for the ATP 500 tournament later this month, with reigning champion Daniil Medvedev – a recent Australian Open finalist - and 2022 winner Andrey Rublev set to be joined in the emirate by Andy Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion and a two-time Olympic gold medallist.

Medvedev will have his eye on more success in Dubai, with Italian sensation Jannik Sinner stunning the Russian with an epic five-set comeback win to clinch his first Grand Slam in Melbourne last month.

Medvedev, 27, will be looking to build on a remarkable 2023 season, where he won five titles, reached two Grand Slam finals, and ended the year as World No3.

Rublev, meanwhile, reached the 50-wins mark for the third straight season in 2023, while breaking new ground by claiming his first ATP Masters 1000 title in Monte-Carlo. The 26-year-old also lifted the Bastad trophy with a straight sets victory over Casper Ruud, the third time in four years that he has claimed multiple tour-level crowns.

It is two years since Murray’s last appearance in Dubai and seven since he became the first Briton to win Dubai’s annual tennis showpiece. He will join three of the world’s top 10 ATP players when the tournament’s 32nd edition takes place from February 26 to March 2.

Murray, the two-time Wimbledon winner, is set to make his eighth appearance at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, with World No8 Hubert Hurkacz, the 2021 Wimbledon semifinalist, also part of the experienced line-up.

“We are thrilled to have three former champions in Andy, Andrey, and Daniil participating, further underlining the regard in which this tournament is held,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free.

Other notable names who will feature in the men’s tournament include last year’s Australian Open semifinalist and current World No18 Karen Kachanov, five-time ATP Tour singles title winner Adrian Mannarino, currently ranked No17 in the world, and former Wimbledon finalist and Australian Open semifinalist Milos Raonic.

Salah Tahlak, Joint COO of Dubai Duty Free and Tournament Director of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Andy, Andrey, and Daniil back to Dubai this year. They are all extremely popular figures among the tennis fraternity, so having these type of players competing in the tournament is great news for us.”

Meanwhile, a star-studded WTA line up will see 17 of the world’s top 20 players descend upon Dubai for the 24th edition of the WTA Tour tournament – recently awarded permanent WTA 1000 status.

Nine of the world’s top 10 female players will be in the emirate for the latest instalment of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. World No1 Iga Swiatek, World No2 Aryna Sabalenka, fresh from securing her second successive Australian Open crown, and World No3 Coco Gauff lead the impressive pack.

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