23 January, 2017

Federer Fresh And Ready To Bid For His 8th Dubai Duty Free Title

Roger Federer has returned to the game fresh and with his desire just as strong as ever as he launches his bid to climb back up the rankings after injury ravaged his 2016 season. And in a brilliant start to his 2017 campaign he has reached the quarter finals of the Australian Open after which he hopes to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships by taking his eighth Dubai crown.


To the disappointment of his many and dedicated fans the crowd favourite was unable to play in Dubai last year due to a freak knee injury that required surgery. Then a persistent lower back pain as well as continuing problems with his knee led to him making the disappointing but brave decision to take a lengthy break after Wimbledon in order that the problem might properly heal.

Despite being limited to just seven tournaments in the year Federer still set a number of records. He tied Jimmy Connors' total of 84 wins and 11 semi-finals at Wimbledon. He defeated Florian Mayer in the Stuttgart quarter-finals in June for his 1,072nd win, passing Ivan Lendl for the second-most wins in the Open Era behind the 1,256 wins of Connors. He earned a record-extending 300th Grand Slam win of his career in the third round of the Australian Open, where he reached his 12th Australian Open semi-final. And he almost won a title in Brisbane before his injury problems arose, finishing as runner-up to Milos Raonic.

And, despite his failure to win a title for the first time since 2000 and consequent slide down the rankings, there was also a positive to Federer's extended absence from the courts. It is very rare for a tennis player to be able to enjoy a normal family life. Federer had the opportunity to experience that during his layoff, and he loved it. 

“I think it was really exciting and good for us to have that time,” Federer said in an interview with The New York Times. “All of a sudden I could be organised and say 'Okay, we're going to be four weeks at home in a row in the same place. Who do you want to go to dinner with, Mirka? Or who shall we catch up with?'" 

Another positive is that any thoughts the 35-year old might have had about retiring have been dismissed. 

 “My last hurrah could take years, depending on the perspective,” Federer told Tages Anzeiger. “Yes, I hope there is again a real hurrah. Otherwise I would not have taken such a long break. I would have come back half-fit after a few months and would have played something. But when I knew I would have to miss the Olympics and the US Open, I said: ‘Come on, now we do it right.’ That will be good for my body, maybe even after my career. Such a long break once in 20 years is okay.” 

Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free, the tournament owners and organisers, said, "We are delighted that Roger Federer has fully recovered and is able to join us at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships for the 13th time. He has won the title on his last two visits here and we can be confident that he will once again be a leading contender."

The 25th staging of the ATP World tour event takes place from 27th February and Federer will compete in a field that features world number one Andy Murray, Australian, French and US Open winner and Dubai defending champion Stan Wawrinka, two-time Dubai runner-up Tomas Berdych and flamboyant Frenchman Gael Monfils. Action gets underway first with the WTA event that features eight of the world's top 10, including world number one Angelique Kerber, reigning French Open champion Garbine Muguruza, 2017 Brisbane winner Karolina Pliskova, 2017 Sydney champion Johanna Konta and former Dubai winners Simona Halep, Agnieszka Radwanska and Caroline Wozniacki. 

"With such an incredible line-up of top stars from both the ATP and WTA tours, Dubai's tennis fans are assured of fantastic entertainment throughout the two-week event," said Tournament Director Salah Tahlak. "As an extra bonus, many of those star players will be free to watch on the outside courts."

The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is owned and organised by Dubai Duty Free, and held under the patronage of H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Staged at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium in Garhoud, the action will commence on 19 February with the WTA Premier 5 event, followed on 27 February with the ATP 500 tournament offering a combined prize pool of US$5.2 million.

Tickets for every day of the event including the finals 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 further information about tickets, prices and the tournament visit


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