Editor’s note: Andy Murray has withdrawn from Dubai due to a hip issue.
A meeting between fifth seed Hubert Hurkacz and 2017 champion Andy Murray headlines the first-round action at next week’s Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, where Novak Djokovic, Andrey Rublev and Daniil Medvedev lead the field at the hard-court ATP 500.
Both Hurkacz and Murray will arrive in Dubai off the back of deep runs at ATP 250 level in the past week. The World No. 11 Hurkacz plays his semi-final in Marseille on Saturday, with former World No. 1 Murray due on court in the Doha championship match against Medvedev shortly after.
Hurkacz leads Murray 2-1 in the pair’s ATP Head2Head series, but the pair has not played since 2021. Should the winner of the Dubai clash go on to reach the quarter-finals, they could face top seed Djokovic.
The Serbian has been drawn to play a qualifier in his first match since lifting a record-equalling 22nd Grand Slam title at January’s Australian Open. Djokovic, a five-time champion in Dubai, would face Tallon Griekspoor or Constant Lestienne in the second round if he prevails in his opener.
Third seed Medvedev is a potential semi-final rival for all of Djokovic, Hurkacz and Murray. The Rotterdam champion leads the second quarter of the draw in Dubai, where he also opens against a qualifier. Medvedev’s quarter-final opponent could be the winner of a first-round matchup between eighth seed Borna Coric and Daniel Evans.
In the bottom half of the draw, Rublev begins his title defence against Filip Krajinovic, with Karen Khachanov a potential quarter-final challenger for the second seed. The 25-year-old Rublev will be playing for his sixth ATP 500 crown.
A stacked third quarter offers plenty of intriguing first-round matchups, including fourth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime taking on the serve-and-volley game of Maxime Cressy. Seventh seed Alexander Zverev meets the fast-rising 21-year-old Jiri Lehecka, with the winner guaranteed to face a big-serving threat in the second round from Marc-Andrea Huesler or Lorenzo Sonego.