Novak Djokovic, who is set to feature at the Qatar Open, in Doha, will team up with his brother Marko Djokovic to play doubles at the event. In what will come as a surprise to many, the Djokovic brothers will team up for the first time since 2013.
Novak Djokovic is fresh off a victory in Abu Dhabi, where he won his 4th Mubadala WTC, after defeating Kevin Anderson in the finals. Djokovic playing doubles in his first official tournament alongside his brother could mean a lot of things. However, it is not the first time they have teamed up.
Their last team-up resulted in a loss, against the Russian sensation Nikolay Davydenko and his partner Dick Norman in the very first round of the Dubai open. They had teamed up for the first time in their career back in 2007, at the Croatian Open held in Umag- which also resulted in a loss, beaten by France’s Mathieu Montcourt and Edouard Roger-Vasselin. They have played together on three more occasions(Bangok 2008, Umag 2009, Dubai 2011), and all three have ended in losses.
This time they will face local boy Mubarak Shannan Zayid and Turkey’s Cem Ilkel in the first round of the Qatar Open in Doha. It might turn out to be a sixth-time-lucky kind of a charm for the Djokovic brothers when they meet Zayid and Ilkel. Meanwhile Stan Wawrinka, is another big name that has signed up for the doubles event. His partner is the Russian youngster who stunned Novak Djokovic to bag the Paris Masters 1000 in 2018- Karen Khachanov. They will face off against another returning knight- David Goffin and his partner Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the first round.
Despite the dismal record Novak Djokovic might have two major reasons to play doubles in his first tournament of the season. The first reason would be be to get good match practice under his belt and get a good rhythm going, on the net play as well as fast movements and passing shots. The second and more personal reason would be to help his brother out in tough times. Marko Djokovic had problems related to depression and has been battling it since quite a few years. Watch the video below for more on this.