Nearly a month after his winning his historic 18th grand slam, Roger Federer returns to action at the 2017 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. The Swiss maestro has jumped from #17 to #9 in the ATP World Tour rankings, and is seeded third this week as he seeks to win a record extending 8th title in Dubai.
The 35-year-old Swiss helped kick off the 25th anniversary of the tournament with a little tennis on the beach with world #1 Andy Murray. Federer will face Frenchman Benoit Paire in the first round. Drawn into the top half with Murray, the 18-time grand slam champion may face Russian Mikhail Youzhny in the second round, followed by a quarterfinal clash with rising Frenchman, Lucas Pouille.
A projected semifinal would bring a showdown with Andy Murray, and second seeded Stan Wawrinka, fourth seed Gael Monfils, and fifth seed Tomas Berdych lead the bottom half of the draw. Federer did not play in Dubai last year due to his knee surgery in early February 2016. The Swiss maestro is seeking another three-peat in Dubai (2003, 2004, 2005), as he defeated Tomas Berdych for the 2014 title, and Novak Djokovic for the 2015 title.
The 2017 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships runs from February 27 to March 4.