Dominic Thiem is ready to get his season back underway as he prepares to chase a maiden Dubai Duty Free Championships title.
The reigning US Open champion was disappointing in Australia last month, crashing out in straight sets to Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round.
He will be the top seed in Dubai later this month, where he will try to emulate countryman and former coach Thomas Muster by winning it.
However, with Roger Federer also potentially being involved, he has been told to expect a ‘formidable challenge’ when the tournament gets underway.
“Excitement is mounting as we come closer and closer to two weeks of great tennis that is certain to produce many thrills and upsets,” Tournament Director Salah Tahlak said.
“Dominic Thiem is such an exciting player to watch and will definitely start as one of the favourites for the title, but success is never guaranteed and he faces a formidable challenge.”
Muster won the title in 1997, beating Goran Ivanisevic in the final, but many expect Thiem to at least match his countryman by the time his career is over.
“Dominic Thiem has already proven that he is worthy to be named alongside Thomas Muster as one of the greatest tennis players that Austria has produced,” Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free added.
“His results, particularly over the past two seasons, have often been spectacular, and we very much look forward to welcoming him back to Dubai.”
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