Novak Djokovic has returned after a long absence, and certainly not because of physical problems. According to the draw, the world No. 1 is expected to face either Roberto Carbales Baena or Marcos Giron in the second round.
Not bad. The real problem for the Serbian champion could be Carlos Alcaraz in the quarterfinals. The talented Spaniard has lost only two matches this season: one at the Australian Open against Berrettini and one in Indian Wells (before the victory in Miami) against Nadal.
Kasper Ruud and Cameron Norrie lead the second half of the rally with no Italian players at the top. Lorenzo Musetti on the way to clash with Felix Auger Aliassime: Benoit Paire’s challenge may not be entirely obvious to the young Italian.
No. 15 Lorenzo Sonego will face Ilya Ivashka in the first round. Fabio Fognini, the 2019 champion, is also in the third zone, but Stefanos Tsitsipas could block his path past Artur Rinderknechka.
But beware of a Greek talent still looking for continuity at twenty-two and an unbeatable opponent at this very moment. Sinner could play Coric in the first round, Garin in the second, Rublev in the 1/8 finals, Zverev in the quarterfinals.
Novak Djokovic advances to quarter-finals in Dubai
Renowned coach Patrick Mouratoglu has analyzed why he considers Novak Djokovic’s backhand to be one of the best two-handed backhands in the sport.
“Novak Djokovic has one of the best two-handed backhands in tennis,” Muratoglu said. “Let’s take a closer look at why his backhand has no limits. Firstly, it is prepared very early – quickly and super-compactly.
This allows him to effectively counterattack and change direction regardless of the speed of the ball. Now look at his feet, he is out in the field and has a very wide and solid base that allows him to squeeze the maximum energy out of the ground.
As the ball bounces, he starts swinging the racquet forward, the racquet head drops below the level of his wrist – notice how his wrist drops completely – allowing the arm to work,” Muratoglu explained.
“Novak’s performance is impressive, look how far he goes with his hands. His left arm is fully extended, long after contact. It also shows how well he uses his left hand.” Novak Djokovic is set to play his second tournament of the season at the next Monte-Carlo Masters.