ATP 500Dubai Duty Free Tennis ChampionshipsRoger Federer

Dubai Draw 2019: Federer To Face Kohlschreiber

The 2019 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships draw has just taken place and Roger will face off against fellow veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber in Round 1.

The Swiss is making a return to the Aviation Club after missing last years event due to his contract expiring and he heads in the number 2 seed behind Kei Nishikori. You can see his projected opponents below.

Federer's Projected Opponents

  • Round 1: Philipp Kohslchreiber
  • Round 2: Fernando Verdasco / Qualifier
  • Quarter Finals: Milos Raonic
  • Semi Finals: Karen Kachanov / Borna Coric / Roberto Bautista Agut
  • Finals: Kei Nishikori

Full printable .PDF draw

Thoughts on the Draw

Federer Kohli Dubai

First up is longtime friend and the man Roger practised with yesterday, Philipp Kohlschreiber. They've played each other 13 times over the years and Kohlschreiber is yet to get a win.

The German is 33 in the world at the moment and he's had an average start to the year, playing ok in Auckland but hasn't won a match at his last two tournaments in Marseille and Rotterdam respectively.

On his day he can produce some of the most eye-catching tennis on tour and he's run Roger close a few times so it could be an interesting one. Roger's last match in Australia was hardly a confidence booster so I'm eager to see how he starts his campaign, is it a cagey affair or can he hit the ground running?

Should Roger win his opening match then round 2 is then either Verdasco or a qualifier. Like Kohli, Fiasco has never beaten Federer and has won just one set in their six meetings. He too has all the shots but I'm not sure he really has it in him to beat Roger should they meet.

Into the quarterfinals and Milos Raonic is the top seed in that quarter. I was sceptical of Raonic's form heading into the season but he impressed at the Australian Open making the quarterfinals. Fed leads the H2H here 11-3 and as long as he looks after his own serve then it's usually more than enough but in best of 3 with the lottery of tiebreaks, it won't be easy.

As for the semi-finals, Khachanov is the top seed but he's had a rough start to the year losing in the first round of his last two tournaments in what looks like the stereotypical let down after ending the year in style winning his maiden Masters 1000 title in Paris. 

Coric and Bautista Agut are the other names that stand out in this half. Agut is the defending champion and started the year strongly in Melbourne but he's had some sort of injury post-Australia. That saw him withdraw in Sofia and skip Rotterdam all together so there are question marks. Coric hasn't looked in great form, losing to Humbert in Marseille so should Roger make the semifinals he'll likely be the favourite whoever else makes it.

For the final Nishikori is the top seed in the other half but he also has Medvedev, Cilic and Tsitsipas to deal with. Kei has made a nice start to the year and I watched his match against Stan in Rotterdam which was a very high quality affair.  I make him the favourite to make the final but you could pick any one of those for guys really and if the courts playing quickly Medvedev will like his chances.

Expectations for Fed? None other than playing aggressively and trying to take the game to all comers. Let's see how far he can go.

What are your thoughts on the draw? Let me know in the comments.


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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  1. On paper, looks decent draw and by right smooth sailing till quarters however stranger things has happened of late. I hope Roger at least reach the semis or final. Missed him so much, just happen to watch him back on court.

  2. Also interested to see where Tsitsipas’ form is- I would think he’s one of the ones who could make the final from the top half if things are firing.

  3. A doable draw. Shame Fed has to play Kohl so early. Just hoping to see his attacking tennis on the faster court.
    I’m wondering if Murli is going? (…been while no rhyme on the blog!)

  4. Reposting from Madrid thread

    Jonathan still awaiting your post about Roger’s outfit for Dubai. Will they be same as Australia ?

  5. An interesting draw,prefer it to Nishikoris.Verdasco is a threat I think,he often plays one brilliant match in a tournament.I read somewhere that Thor was trying out a new racket so perhaps that explains his rather disappointing results recently,he will be a threat if he gets his act together.Is RBA in Feds half?Now he is dangerous.
    However despite these gloomy thoughts I have a feeling Fed is going to do well?

    1. Yeah RBA is in that half but he withdrew from Rotterdam last week.

      Took me a while to work out who Thor was 😀 but he’s moved to Head. Weird move after winning Paris, but $$$ talks.

  6. Am I asking too much? Wouldn’t it be nice if the ATP site would say when they post a tournament, “Draw available Sat 2pm” or something like that. Instead of, “Draw not available”. Picky, picky me.
    Anyway, the draw looks ok. The tournament director must have rigged it somehow. The top half looks far more dangerous.
    I wonder if Fed will be wearing the same snowsuit but in forest green?

  7. Looks like a good draw for Roger. Hope he can get a good start and get back to winning ways. It’s about time for him and for us to win one.

  8. Reasonable but tough draw considering he hasnt played and that most of the others have. Stef cld be tired post Marseille and Daniil cld take advantage top half with Kei. Karen struggles on fast counts and yes still not at ease with the new racquet.
    Wld love a title but more, I want points and a few good matches under his belt heading into sunshine double.

  9. Roger often trains in Dubai and lives several weeks a year there. In your opinion, which may be the impact of that on his performances during the tournament ? In which ways,  may it be easier to go deeper in the tournament  because he knows the training courts by heart, the staff, the environment, the weather conditions ? I wonder…

    1. Other than the conditions and being in a routine/apartment he’s used to I don’t think it makes too much difference.

      Assuming he hasn’t practised on the main court?

  10. Oleg S.

    8 August 1981: Roger Federer is born
    February 2000 : Roger Federer reaches first ATP final
    8 August 2000 : Felix Auger-Aliassime is born
    February 2019 : Felix Auger-Aliassime reaches first ATP final


  11. Hope that Roger gets off to a good start. Would be nice if he could
    get the 100 if only to stop everyone writing about it!

  12. Roger’s state of mind in Dubai…

    On the upcoming tournament, Federer said: “I’m very excited, aiming for a number 100, this would be very special, it would be very special to win it anywhere but also in Dubai where I’ve enjoyed so much success. I feel really good, the year has been good. I’m ready to go again, I’m feeling energised, I feel fresh, I’m ready to go.”

  13. The site won’t let me reply to the appropriate post, so will put this here. I am a huge Felix fan, and think he has an excellent chance to win the Rio title today.
    Felix admired Fed, Tsonga and Monfils, and of course was very excited when he and his team got to practice with Fed a while ago.
    He is a terrific young player who is also intelligent and charming, along with being articulate in both French and English.

  14. Fed did beat Kohli in 3 sets. The wind caused problems for both players, although both still made some terrific shots. But Fed pretty well ran away with the decider.

    With Raonic and Khachanov both out, Fed’s route to the final got a bit easier. He will face Verdasco next.

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