The 2018 champion opens his campaign against qualifier Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania in his first match since capturing a fifth Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships crown in February. Djokovic will be hoping to extend his 21-match unbeaten run this week, which includes an 18-0 record in 2020. Each of those victories have come on hard courts, the surface where Djokovic owns the best winning percentage in the history of the sport (0.843).
”I really wanted to restart on a hard court where I feel the most comfortable,” said Djokovic. “That’s the surface that I have the most success on.”
Alexander Zverev and Andy Murray will meet for the second time in their ATP Head2Head series (Murray leads 1-0). In the pair’s only previous encounter, Murray claimed a straight-sets victory at the 2016 Australian Open. At the time, Zverev was aged 18 and ranked No. 83 in the FedEx ATP Rankings.
“[Zverev has] obviously been up at the top of the game for a number of years now,” said Murray. “It will be a good test for me, for sure… He moves well for a big guy, solid off the ground. [He] has struggled at times with his serve. When he’s serving well, he’s obviously one of the top players in the world.”
Defending champion Daniil Medvedev opens play on Grandstand against qualifier Marcos Giron. The World No. 5 dropped just one set en route to the 2019 trophy during a run of six straight final appearances from the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. to the Rolex Shanghai Masters.
“I’m happy to see where my game is at,” said World No. 5 Medvedev. “I always play to win [and] I definitely have the competitive juices flowing. I think there will be a lot of interesting matches and results.”
Second seed Dominic Thiem will also make his first appearance since the resumption of the ATP Tour. The Austrian, who reached his third Grand Slam final at the Australian Open in February, will face Filip Krajinovic for a place in the third round.
Not Before 7:00 pm
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