Five-time winner Novak Djokovic will head back to the ATP Dubai event for the 13th time, joining women’s world No. 2 in heading two weeks of tennis in the Gulf.

The 21-time Grand Slam champion lifted the last of his titles in 2020, defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas just days before COVID shut down worldwide tennis completely for four months and crippled the sport for the next seasons.

The WTA week kicks proceedings off at the Aviation club from February 19, with the men’s ATP final to be played on Saturday March 4 to end the sporting fortnight.

Roger Federer, a holiday homeowner in the Emirate, holds the record for eight titles here.

“It’s always exciting to be back in Dubai, this is a special event for me,” Djokovic said in a statement as he prepares for Monday’s start of the Australian Open.

.”I have a long history with the Championship and have been fortunate to play some great matches in front of the crowd – I can’t wait to play there again,” said the Serb who began his title run with the 2009 edition.

Jabeur, from Tunisia, is firmly established in the WTA elite after playing the Wimbledon final last July before doubling up at the US Open two months later.

Her best Dubai showing was the quarter-finals last season, where she lost to Simona Halep.

“As an Arab, it’s always a special experience playing in the emirate and the fans make me feel very well supported,” she said.

“I have had some great weeks there in previous years without leaving with the title, so this year I hope to finally get my hands on some silverware.”