Nole begins Dubai triple title defence against Stebe


Photo: AP

Nole returns to action next week in Dubai where he has won the last three editions of the ATP World Tour 500 outdoor event. The tournament will be played from February 27 to March 3.

Defending champion and world no.1 will be looking to continue his fantastic season-opening form. The 2008, 2011 and 2012 Australian Open winner is going for his fourth consecutive title.

Novak won the “Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships” for the third year in a row as he defeated top seed Roger Federer 6-3, 6-3 in the final last year, and joined the Swiss as the only players to have won three successive titles.

Nole’s first round opponent will be world no.72 German Cedrik-Marcel Stebe. They have never met before.

The 24-year-old Belgrade native could meet either Sergiy Stakhovsky or Omar Awadhy in the second round.

His possible rivals in the later stages of the tournament are:

Quarter-finals: Janko Tipsarevic (SRB, 7), Ivan Ljubicic (CRO)

Semi-finals: Andy Murray (GBR, 3), Tomas Berdych (CZE, 5), Nikolay Davydenko (RUS)

Four-time former champion Roger Federer (SUI, 2), Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA,4), Mardy Fish (USA, 6), Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG, 8)…are in the other half of the draw, and Novak can’t meet them before the finals.

You can follow happenings in Emirates via Nole’s twitter account @djokernole, and tournament official twitter account @DubaiTennisCham.

Nole’s younger brother Marko Djokovic got wildcard for the main draw singles competition. He will face a qualifier from Kazakhstan, world no.133 Andrey Golubev, in the opening round. The match will be played on Monday on Centre Court at 11.00 CET.

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