• Djokovic, Federer lead field in Dubai

    2/25/13 2:37 AM | Kelli DeMario
    Djokovic, Federer lead field in Dubai World No. 1 Novak Djokovic makes his return to competition as the ATP World Tour continues the hardcourt season in Dubai. The three-time former champion enters the 32-player draw as the top seed.

    World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is back on court after completing a Grand Slam winning run at the Australian Open (def. Murray). The 25-year-old enters into the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships looking to win his fourth title at the event. Djokovic won a trio of titles from 2009-2011 before suffering a semifinal loss to World No. 3 Andy Murray last year.

    "It’s one of the toughest tournaments on the ATP World Tour, because of the fields over the past 10 years," confessed the world No.1. "It is very well known for top players coming here and playing their best. I won it three times in a row. I feel great here and have a lot of support from Serbians.

    "The fact that I haven’t played an official match since Davis Cup means that I am fresh mentally and ready for a strong week."

    The top seed headlines a competitive half of the draw that includes (4) Juan Martin Del Potro, (7) Andreas Seppi and (8) Mikhail Youzhny. Additional players in the section are David Goffin, Lukas Rosol, Paul-Henri Mathieu, Somdev Devvarman, and former world No. 8 Marcos Baghdatis.

    Djokovic is slated to open his bid against compatriot Viktor Troicki.

    Defending champion Roger Federer leads the bottom half of the draw alongside fellow seeds (3) Tomas Berdych, (5) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and (6) Janko Tipsarevic.

    "I am really focused on the first round. It is a quicker court and there is pressure on me as the defending champion," Federer said.

    Other entrants in the same half are Michael Llodra, Tobias Kamke, Mikhail Kukushkin, wildcard Rajeev Ram, Victor Hanescu, Marcel Granollers, Bernard Tomic and former world No. 3 Nikolay Davydenko.

    Federer will begin his title defense against wildcard Malek Jaziri.

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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