2020 Dubai Tennis Championships: Djokovic Out to Recapture Crown

This week’s 2020 Dubai Tennis Championships sees Novak Djokovic out to win the tournament for a fifth time, though the Serbian last triumphed here back in 2013.

With neither Rafael Nadal nor eight-time Dubai winner Roger Federer present in the draw, Djokovic is a strong favourite to collect yet another title on the ATP tour.

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Other top seeds include Stefanos Tsitsipas, the in-form Gael Monfils, Fabio Fognini and Roberto Bautista Agut, with eight players from the world’s top 20 arriving for the competition.

Also seeded are Benoit Paire of France and the Russian duo of Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov, with the Aviation Club Tennis Centre in Dubai hosting the tournament.

Four different winners in each of the past four years at the Dubai Tennis Championships indicates a title that is there for the taking, but Djokovic’s presence means he understandably dominates the betting odds.

Is there any better value to be found elsewhere in the draw, though? We will attempt to answer that question today by considering the odds being offered by our favourite tennis bookmakers to make our picks.

Dominant Novak Djokovic Changes Tack in 2020

Last year, Djokovic gave himself February off, but he has gone for a different tactic this year after disappointing performances at Indian Wells and Miami. He is unbeaten in 2020 so far.

Wild card entry Malek Jaziri is up first for Djokovic, who is likely to meet experienced German player Philipp Kohlschreiber – who beat him at Indian Wells last year – in the second round.

Assuming Djokovic gets through to the quarter-finals he is scheduled to meet seventh seed Khachanov, who has previously knocked the world number one out at the Paris Masters.

Even with two players who have recently beaten him in his path, it is hard to imagine Djokovic failing to make it through the top quarter of the draw in his first Dubai appearance since 2016.

Having previously won the event four times in five years towards the start of his career, this is a tournament where Djokovic has been able to display his dominance in the past. Odds of 10/11 on a Dubai title for Djokovic reflect the fact he is clearly this week’s man to beat.

Gael Monfils Out to Extend Nine-Match Winning Streak

One of the most in-form players in world tennis right now, third seed Monfils is the headline figure in the second quarter of the draw and he can be backed at 12/1 to win the Dubai title.

Monfils has thrived in Montpellier and Rotterdam in the last couple of weeks but both of those events were played on indoor courts, with Dubai a shift to outdoor the Frenchman will have to adapt to for his first-round clash with Marton Fucsovics.

An intriguing first-round meeting sees Paire take on Marin Cilic, a dangerous unseeded floater in the draw, with the players offered at 66/1 and 25/1 respectively to win the event. Cilic is expected to knock Paire out to earn a likely second-round tie with Richard Gasquet.

Should Cilic get through to the quarter-finals, he would probably have to overturn a 0-4 record against Monfils, who should reach the last four to take on Djokovic for a place in the final.

Andrey Rublev Aiming for Third 2020 Title

Along with Monfils, rising Russian star Rublev is another player heading to Dubai on a hot streak with two titles to his name since the start of the new season.

Rublev, the sixth seed this week, can be backed at 16/1 to triumph in Dubai although outdoor hard courts have not always been a favourite surface for him in the past.

Filip Krajinovic is Rublev’s likely second-round opponent and the Serbian came out on top when the pair recently met in Rotterdam, so he would have nothing to fear from that match-up.

Fognini makes his Dubai debut and the fourth seed, who is offered at 50/1, could well be an early casualty due to the fact he is battling an injury. Fognini faces Dan Evans first up.

Pierre-Hugues Herbert is another name to watch out for from the third quarter of the draw. The talented Frenchman is available at odds of around the 50/1 mark for this week’s event.

Stefanos Tsitsipas Hoping to Go One Step Further

Last year’s Dubai Tennis Championships saw Tsitsipas beaten by Federer in straight sets in the final and the Greek is back for more in 2020, with Pablo Carreno Busta a testing first opponent.

Tsitsipas found form in Marseille after a below-par start to the season and the second seed looks a strong option at 8/1 to win the tournament, though he would probably have to beat Djokovic in the final to earn his first Dubai crown.

The bottom quarter also features the 2018 winner Roberto Bautista Agut and the Spaniard is 14/1 to win the tournament for the second time in three years. However, his early opponents could be Jan-Lennard Struff and Nikoloz Basilashvili, with both of those matches tough.

Hubert Hurkacz got to the quarter-finals in Dubai a year ago and is an option in the betting odds for this week’s event, especially at a big price of 50/1, as he looks set for a breakthrough 2020.

Dubai Tennis Championships Best Bets

It would be something of a shock if anyone other than Djokovic was to triumph this week, but at 10/11 in the betting there is not a lot of profit on offer for those who back the world number one.

Instead, there could be better value options from the bottom half of the draw, especially on an each-way basis where reaching the final would be enough to produce a payout.

Andrey Rublev should have a chance to gain revenge on Krajinovic and at 16/1 he has the opportunity to show he can thrive on outdoor hard courts, where he has not always produced in the past. Gael Monfils would be more attractive if he was not placed in the same half of the draw as Djokovic.

Roberto Bautista Agut’s potential path to the final is far from the best draw the Spaniard could have received but the former champion has to be a name worthy of consideration at a price of 14/1.

At even bigger prices, Hubert Hurkacz and Pierre-Hugues Herbert are appealing long-shots at 50/1 with both players certainly capable of going deep into the tournament if they produce their best tennis.

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