Andrey Rublev says he is not especially confident for his chances in Dubai, admitting that he finds the conditions there challenging.
No one won more ATP titles than Rublev in 2020, and he has started this year off in similar fashion, helping Russia to the ATP Cup title then winning Rotterdam for himself.
He will be well-fancied again in Dubai, but he says it is not going to be a simple tournament to navigate.
“I’m happy to be back but it’s always tough conditions for me in Dubai,” Rublev said.
“The balls fly much more, and with my style of game, it’s not so easy to play.
“I will see what happens and it will be a great challenge for me to see if I can find other ways to win matches.
“I have nothing to lose and I will try to do my best.”
Rublev is the second seed for the tournament behind Dominic Thiem, which demonstrates the strides he has made in tennis over the last year.
He, though, says he is far from finished when it comes to developing his game.
“I focus more on myself, to accept the things I cannot change and do the best I can on the things I can change,” Rublev explained.
“I’m far from perfect but this is the direction I’m moving in and this is what I’m trying to keep in my mind.
“In the end, this is what helps me to improve my mentality and that is how I have seen improvements.
“On top of that I’m still working hard to do my best in practice. I try to work on the things I need to improve that will help bring better results and I can already see some of the things that are better this season compared to last season.
“I want to keep going like this, I want to achieve my limits, and we will see what happens.”
For more exclusive content from Tennisbuzz, including news, features, trivia, promotions and more, please be sure to sign up for our newsletter below or via our home page.
Why not test your tennis knowledge by tackling one of our fiendish quizzes too?