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Dubai Tennis Championships 2020: Men's singles draw analysis, preview and prediction

Novak Djokovic is the top seed in this year
Novak Djokovic is the top seed in this year's draw.
ANALYST
Modified 24 Feb 2020, 17:17 IST
Preview
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The 2020 Dubai Tennis Championships is all set to begin today, with a slew of big names ready for competition. The main draw action for the 28th edition of the tournament will start on Monday at the Aviation Club Tennis Centre.

This year's field is led by World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and last year's finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas. In the absence of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, the likes of Gael Monfils and Fabio Fognini have taken the other top seedings.

These four will look to capitalise on the rather open draw in Dubai. Here, we take a look at the prospects of the top players in the tournament.

Top half

Benoit Paire is one of the many dangerous floaters in this section.
Benoit Paire is one of the many dangerous floaters in this section.

Expected semifinal: Novak Djokovic vs Gael Monfils

Analysis: The top half of the draw is crowded with dangerous floaters, who can all give the seeds a hard time. Djokovic is still on the safer side of the half, but will have to be wary of Phillip Kohlschreiber and seventh seed Karen Khachanov.

But it's the other side of this half that will throw up blockbuster match-ups early in the week. Be it the Marin Cilic vs Benoit Paire and Gael Monfils vs Marton Fucsovics first round encounters, or the prospects of Lloyd Harris and Richard Gasquet taking on the winner in the second round, every match looks promising.

Prediction: Novak Djokovic vs Benoit Paire or Richard Gasquet

Also get: the full Dubai Tennis Championships 2020 Schedule

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Bottom half

Fabio Fognini will be a favorite to come through this half of the draw
Fabio Fognini will be a favorite to come through this half of the draw

Expected semifinal: Fabio Fognini vs Stefanos Tsitsipas

Analysis: Fabio Fognini has been handed a relatively simpler path to the quarterfinals, with only an up-and-down Dan Evans and a stable but less-than-threatening Yoshihito Nishioka standing in his way. There, he should in all likelihood compete against Andrey Rublev for the semifinal spot.

Last year's finalist Tsitsipas will be looking to go all the way in 2020, but his road to glory is laden with hurdles in the form of talented players including first round opponent Pablo Carreno Busta, as well as possible subsequent adversaries Hubert Hurkacz and Roberto Bautista Agut. The Greek's own form might just open the window for these ambitious young players to come through.

Prediction: Fabio Fognini vs Roberto Bautista Agut

Published 24 Feb 2020, 16:06 IST
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