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Novak Djokovic to Partner Surprise Grand Slam Champion for Doubles Action

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Novak Djokovic

At first people may think Novak Djokovic and Marin Cilic probably aren’t friends due to some silly geopolitics. But they are great friends despite all that, and as it turns out, they may be more than friends soon… on the tennis court that is.

Novak Djokovic & Rafael Nadal

Novak Djokovic hails from Serbia, while Marin Cilic comes from Croatia. The two countries have one of the worst relationship between neighboring countries as you will ever see. A bloody history between the two has kept the animosity going for long.

Novak Djokovic and Marin Cilic’s friendship
Sports takes a very different meaning when two countries with less than good relations play each other. Serbia and Croatia have an intense rivalry when it comes to team sports like basketball and football.

Cilics and Novak Djokovic

Djokovic and Cilic, however, do not have any kind of animosity between them. The relation between their respective countries is not reflected in the bond between these two. They often practice with one another, they cheer and hope for the best for one another.

In 2013, Marin Cilic had a rough time in his career. He was banned for nine months after he failed a doping test. He was adamant that he never doped, but may have inadvertently ingested traces of the banned substance through glucose.

In such turbulent times, Djokovic stepped up and gave his full support to the Croatian. And as it turned out later, Cilic was indeed innocent and the authorities lifted his ban. But he never forgot Novak’s support.

Novak Djokovic and team

“I was very surprised with Novak. He stepped up for me. I think rarely you’ll see someone at the top of any sport expose themselves like he did. I’ll be very grateful to him for the rest of my life for the way he supported me. It made me stronger inside and I don’t get stressed by some difficult times or some difficult days.”

And as it turns out, now, they will partner up and play together as well. The pair have decided to give the world a Serb-Croat duo on the court. They will play doubles together at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Unbeaten Djokovic Joins Tsitsipas, Monfils In Dubai; All You Need To Know
Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic looks to continue his perfect start to the 2020 season next week at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, an ATP 500 tournament. Djokovic comes to Dubai with a 13-0 match record this season in singles (and 2-0 in doubles). He led Serbia to the inaugural ATP Cup title and won a record-extending eighth Australian Open crown to clinch his return to No. 1 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. He will be looking to reclaim the Dubai title after winning four titles in five years from 2009-11 and ’13.

Two other Top 10 players, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Gael Monfils, also return to Dubai. Tsitsipas defeated Monfils in the semi-finals last year before finishing runner-up to Roger Federer. Monfils enters on a nine-match winning streak, following triumphs at the Open Sud de France (d. Pospisil) and ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament (d. Auger-Aliassime) in February.

Novak Djokovic & friend

The 2020 Dubai field additionally features Fabio Fognini, Roberto Bautista Agut, Andrey Rublev and Karen Khachanov. Rublev, 22, will also be going for his third title of 2020 after winning the Qatar ExxonMobil Open and Adelaide International in the first two weeks of the year.

Here’s all you need to know about the Dubai tennis tournament: when is the draw, what is the schedule, where to watch, who has won and more.

Established: 1993

Tournament Dates: 24 -29 February 2020

Tournament Director: Salah Tahlak

Novak Djokovic

Draw Ceremony: Saturday, 22 February at 1:00pm at VIP Majlis Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium

Schedule (View On Official Website)
* Qualifying: Saturday at 11:00am and Sunday at 12:00pm
* Main draw: Monday – Wednesday at 2:00pm and 7:00pm, Thursday at 3:00pm and 7:00pm, Friday at 2:30pm and 7:30pm
* Doubles final: Saturday, 29 February at 5:00pm
* Singles final: Saturday, 29 February not before 7:00pm

How To Watch
Watch Live On Tennis TV
TV Schedule

Venue: Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium
Main Court Seating: 5,500

Prize Money: USD $2,794,840 (Total Financial Commitment: USD $2,950,420)

Novak Djokovic

Tickets On Sale: Buy Now

View Who Is Playing, Past Champions, Seeds, Points & Prize Money Breakdown

Honour Roll (Open Era)
Most Titles, Singles: Roger Federer (8)
Most Titles, Doubles: Mahesh Bhupathi (5)
Oldest Champion: Roger Federer, 37, in 2019
Youngest Champion: Rafael Nadal, 19, in 2006
Highest-Ranked Champion: No. 1 Roger Federer in 2004-05 & 2007, Novak Djokovic in 2013 and Andy Murray in 2017
Lowest-Ranked Champion: No. 61 Jerome Golmard in 1999
Most Match Wins: Roger Federer (53)

Novak Djokovic

2019 Finals
Singles: [2] Roger Federer (SUI) d [5] Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) 64 64 Read & Watch
Doubles: [4] Rajeev Ram (USA) / Joe Salisbury (GBR) d Ben McLachlan (JPN) / Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 76(4) 63

Social
Hashtag: #DDFTennis
Facebook: @ddftennis
Twitter: @DDFTennis
Instagram: @ddftennis

Did You Know… In 2005, Roger Federer and Andre Agassi had a friendly hit high above Dubai, on the helipad of the Burj Al Arab. “This was an absolutely amazing experience,” Agassi told ATPTour.com. “When you first get over how high you are and start playing, it’s an absolute joy and it was a great time. I had no issues with the height as long as I didn’t have to bungee jump off the side.”

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