ATP Dubai draw: Andy Murray handed yet another horrible route while Daniil Medvedev returns

Shahida Jacobs
Andy Murray points Australian Open
Andy Murray on court at the 2024 Australian Open

Andy Murray just cannot catch a break as he has been handed another shocker of a draw at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Fresh from winning his first match of the 2024 season with an opening-round victory over Alexandre Muller at the Qatar Open, Murray has landed in the top half of the ATP 500 event in the United Arab Emirates.

The former world No 1, who lost in the second round in Doha against rising star Jakub Mensik to take his record for 2024 to 1-5, will open his campaign against Denis Shapovalov, who has used his protected ranking to get into the main draw.

Although Shapovalov currently finds himself at No 121 in the ATP Rankings following an injury-ravaged 2023 season, the Canadian is a former world No 10 is a tricky customer and will pose a difficult opponent.

Murray, meanwhile, has dropped 16 places to No 66 in the rankings following his poor run of form.

And the draw gets a lot tougher for the player who emerges victorious from that match as he faces either fifth seed Ugo Humbert or Gael Monfils in the second round. Monfils beat fellow Frenchman Humbert in the quarter-final in Qatar before losing to Mesik in the semi-final.

Third seed Hubert Hurkacz is the projected quarter-final opponent and the Pole will kick off his tournament against Jan-Lennard Struff.

Top seed Daniil Medvedev headlines the draw as he returns to action for the first time since losing the Australian Open final against Jannik Sinner at the end of February.

Medvedev spent more than 24 hours on court during the season-opening Grand Slam and opted to skip his title defences in Rotterdam and Doha and has since slipped to No 4 in the ATP Rankings behind Sinner.

He will kick off his title defence against Alexander Shevchenko while he is projected to meet eighth seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the quarter-final. However, Davidovich Fokina will likely have to get past Qatar finalist Mensik in the second round and the Czech won their most recent encounter.

Andrey Rublev, who was also stunned by Mensik in Doha, tops the bottom half of the draw and he starts off against Zhang Zhizhen while he could meet sixth seed Mannarino in the quarter-final.

However, Lorenzo Musetti and Sebastian Korda could prove to be banana skins for Rublev and Mannarino.

If the seedings hold, then Rublev will face Karen Khachanov – who takes on Mensik in the Doha final on Saturday – in the semi-final. Second seed Khachanov, though, will have to get past the likes of Alexei Popyrin and seventh seed Alexander Bublik if he is to make the last four.

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