In a long interview with the Khaleej Times, Colm McLoughlin, CEO of Dubai Duty Free, thanked Roger Federer for having contributed to the growth of the tournament. McLoughlin analysed: “The day of retirement comes sooner or later for all athletes.
We are delighted that Roger Federer has had such a deep connection with our tournament. He has won eight times, has a home in Dubai and has contributed to first person in the development of the tournament. Even if he no longer plays, he will always be welcome here.
He has always behaved very well with us and fulfilled almost all of our requests. He played an important role in promoting the Dubai tournament, not only because he won it many times. His eighth titles in Dubai coincided with his 100th career title, a historic moment we are proud of.
I can’t forget when Federer and Andre Agassi played on the Burj Al Arab helipad in 2005 , that was also an epic moment. Roger has been a great ambassador for us and we have always been happy to welcome him.”
Dubai and the men’s event 2023
Yesterday, Sunday 19 February, the WTA in Dubai kicked off, which will be followed by the ATP 500 in the following week.
There will be 18 of the top 20 WTA-ranked players, including world No. 1 Iga Swiatek and Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka. The men’s tournament will instead be able to count on Novak Djokovic, fresh from his tenth triumph at Melbourne Park and protagonist of a terrific start to the season, the Serbian also won the ATP 250 in Adelaide.
Rafael Nadal should also have been present, who was forced to withdraw due to the ileo-psoas injury sustained during the Happy Slam. Obviously there will be no Roger Federer, eight times champion in Dubai, who retired in September last year.
The Swiss did his best to treat himself to one last lap of the carousel, but the conditions of his right knee led him to say enough at 41.