Novak Djokovic will seek to get his 2019 season off the ground with a title when he takes to court this week at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha.
Djokovic leads the pack, with Austrian top dog, Dominic Thiem, Russian sensation, Karen Khachanov, three-time Grand Slam winner, Stan Wawrinka, David Goffin and Nikoloz Basilashvili amongst others making up an exciting field for the one-week event in the Arabian Peninsula.
Fresh off winning the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, an exhibition event, Djokovic will be brimming with confidence and very well fancy his chances of making history as only the second player after Swiss star Roger Federer (winner in 2005, 2006, 2011) to lift the trophy for a third time since the tournament began in 1993.
A champion in 2016 and 2017, Djokovic has spent time in Doha alongside Stan Wawrinka, Karen Khachanov and Dominic Thiem, fine-tuning ahead of their respective opening matches.
The super Serb will open up against Bosnia’s Damir Džumhur in the first round on Tuesday, while Karen Khachanov and Stan Wawrinka will square off to serve up a New Year’s Day special.
Dominic Thiem, who’s seeded second, will face Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the first round, and Herbert reckons facing the Austrian will be difficult for him.
“Yes I do have a tough draw. Not easy to play the second seed in the first round. Dominic is an amazing player, he finished the year among the top ten, so a tough opponent to beat but I am looking forward to this match and will give my best,” the 27-year-old Frenchman said.
The men’s event of the Qatar Open is live from Monday, December 31 to January 5, 2019.