Novak Djokovic news: Dubai tennis is one of the best in the world says world no 1

Novak Djokovic in action

Just a month after not being allowed to play in the Australian Open, Novak Djokovic received a strong reception at the Dubai Open.

Chants of “Novak, Novak” could be heard as the Serb recorded a straight sets win over Italian wildcard Lorenzo Musetti.

Djokovic is a five times holder of the Dubai Open and so it will hold a special place in his heart.

“It’s definitely one of the best tournaments in the world, actually the best tournament in the world in category 500 that we have on ATP Tour,” Djokovic told reporters in the post-match press conference on Monday night.

“Many years in a row this tournament has been winning awards for a reason. You always have, you know, at least four, five, six top-10 players participating in the event every single year. The field is very strong.”

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The only person who has won more Dubai Open titles than Djokovic is Roger Federer who has eight to his name.

“I’ve had some great matches against Roger here, who is the most successful player of this tournament,” he said.

“Probably the toughest year I had in terms of winning the tournament was 2010. I think I played four three-setters in a row. The final was played over two days because of the rain.

“I had some thrilling matches obviously. Can’t pick one at the moment. I’ve been blessed to experience a lot of success in this tournament.”

Meanwhile, the Dubai Open also has a special place in the heart of one time champion Andy Murray. As a 20-year-old, Murray famously overcame the Swiss maestro in the 2008 edition of the tournament. That performance has to go down as one of the greatest in his career.

“Yeah, I just remember it being — when the draw came out, I was ranked like 12 or 13 in the world at the time. I think he (Federer) was No. 1. It’s pretty rare that you would ever get No. 1 player playing someone ranked 12 in the first round. It was obviously a brutal draw,” Murray recalled.

“Obviously at the time for me, it was a huge win. I hadn’t had loads of success over him at that stage. “But yeah, the tournament over the years, it’s had some great winners. It’s got a brilliant history. A lot of top players have played here over the years. Yeah, hope that continues.”