Dominic Thiem and Denis Shapovalov on Collision Course at ATP Dubai 2021

Published 03/13/2021, 9:54 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 12, 2021 Austria’s Dominic Thiem celebrates after winning his third round match against Australia’s Nick Kyrgios REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake


The main draw for the upcoming Dubai Open tennis tournament, a calendar ATP event, has been announced. The tournament, opening on March 14, Sunday, could pit reigning US Open champion Dominic Thiem against Canadian star Denis Shapovalov.

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Russian World Number 8 Andrey Rublev, veteran Austrian David Goffin and three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka will also be among the top stars competing at the event.

Dominic Thiem, Andrey Rublev, Stan Wawrinka and Denis Shapovalov lead top stars at ATP Dubai 2021

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The draw sees Thiem and Shapovalov in a collision course, while rising Pole Hubert Hurkacz and fleet-footed Australian Alex De Minaur could also set up a mouthwatering clash against each other.

The Canadian will open his campaign against Goffin and victory could see him set up a showdown with Thiem.

In other absorbing battles, Wawrinka would be up against Russian Karen Khachanov again after losing to him at Rotterdam.

Another salivating encounter will pit veteran Biritsh star Dan Evans, who picked up the year’s first Tour title at the Murray River Classic in Melbourne, against 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals champion Jannik Sinner.

Thiem, the current World Number 4, will make only his second appearance at the tournament this year. He doesn’t have memories of his debut appearance in 2015 as he crashed out in the opening round after losing to Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut.

The Spaniard seems to have had a measure of him since as he got the better of him again in the ongoing ATP 250 event in Doha.

Dominic Thiem’s recent run of results doesn’t make him a tournament favorite in Dubai

Apart from Thiem, Rublev, Bautista Agut and Shapovalov would be the other top seeds in the tournament.

Rublev, who won the last four ATP 500 events that he featured in, will fancy picking up his fifth straight championship trophy in the Emirates.

His last ATP 500 championship came at the recently-concluded Rotterdam Open.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 8, 2021 Canada’s Denis Shapovalov celebrates winning a set during his first round match against Italy’s Jannik Sinner REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

Though Thiem holds six titles at the ATP-500 level, his current form and run of results aren’t good enough for him to be billed as a tournament favorite this year.

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The Austrian crashed out of the Australian Open this year after losing his fourth-round tie to Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.

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The tournament will also feature other top stars such as American Taylor Fritz, who pushed World Number 1 Novak Djokovic to five sets in a knife-edged third round battle at Melbourne Park, Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta and Serb Dusan Lajovic.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

977 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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