In an exclusive interview with Tennis World USA, the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship Tournament Director Salah Talhak commented on Andy Murray possibly withdrawing the event that takes place from 25 February to March 2 2019.
Murray confirmed his appearance there earlier this month, and a few days after he announced his upcoming retirement from tennis. The Brit had also planned to play in Montpellier and Marseille in February, but it unlikely to happen.
‘Anyone who watched Andy’s press announcement last Friday would totally empathize with him on what is a very difficult decision for him‘, said Talhak. ‘Andy has played Dubai many times and won in 2017 when we marked our 25thanniversary.
We wish him the very best, he is a great champion and we have always loved having him play here where he is a big crowd favourite.’ Talhak also avoided going into details on why Rafael Nadal has not been playing in Dubai since 2008: ‘It really is the player’s decision where they will play or not, and that is their prerogative as professional athletes.’
Why does the Dubai Open wait until six-seven weeks before the tournament starts to announce the top players, while most of the ATP 500s – including Acapulco – release announcement several months earlier? ‘We are lucky that our tournament is very well known here and there is a lot of anticipation about the player line up.
Generally speaking, we wait for the full line up of players to have signed in before we make our major announcements. This usually happens 45 days before the tournament.’ ALSO READ: Rafael Nadal: Worse players than David Ferrer won a Grand Slam title