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Dubai Duty Free Tennis: Daniil the defender

After nearly a month away, Daniil Medvedev returns to competitive action in familiar surroundings this week at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

A year ago, Medvedev marched to the title at the ATP 500 without dropping a set. Now the World No. 4, an Australian Open finalist last month, heads to the United Arab Emirates looking to clinch his 21st tour-level title. Remarkably, he is also aiming to win the same title twice for the first time.

“It’s a fun fact, a fun story,” said Medvedev last year when asked about his diverse trophy cabinet. “Honestly, [it’s] not really extra motivation… I really want to win every time I step on court.”

The action in Dubai, where Medvedev is joined in the draw by his fellow Top 10 stars Andrey Rublev and Hubert Hurkacz, forms one half of an ATP 500 doubleheader this week. Nine of the other Top 20 players in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings will compete at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC.

Top 10 stars Alexander Zverev and Holger Rune chase their first individual titles of the 2024 season in Acapulco, as does the in-form Alex de Minaur. Last year, the Australian lifted the biggest title of his career on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, a run that kick-started his rise to becoming a Top 10 player.

“I used to always kind of struggle a lot more and I wasn’t able to break through,” De Minaur told when asked to reflect on his past 12 months.

“But a couple big wins in Acapulco really gave me a lot of confidence and I was able to build on that. I had a great start to the year this year and hopefully I can keep it going.”

Credit: ATP Tour 

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