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Malek Jaziri aims for rankings boost in Dubai

Dubai: The Arab world’s top-ranked player, Malek Jaziri, is hoping to use Dubai to kick-start his quest of re-establishing his top-100 place on the ATP Tour.

After an injury meant he missed most of the 2013 season, the Tunisian, who turned 30 last month, has been finding his form again. He made the semi-finals in Morelos, Mexico, last week and the final at the Dallas Open in the US at the beginning of February.

Jaziri’s best ranking is No. 69 in the middle of July 2012. And, after last year’s dip, he has now climbed seven spots to sit in 137th position.

“I’m just so happy to be injury-free this year. After last year’s long injury I slipped down the rankings and that did not help the confidence,” Jaziri told Gulf News as he prepared to face Igor Sijsling of the Netherlands in the opening round of the Dubai Duty Free Men’s Open on Tuesday.

“I am here so that I can do all the good things that can help me progress in my career as a player. I want to get back to where I was and I am hoping this tournament can be the real start for me.”

At the beginning of the year, Jaziri appointed Serbian Dejan Petrovic as his new coach and the move seems to have worked well for his game and confidence.

“I want to be in the main draw in the Grand Slams and obviously Roland Garros [French Open] is the main objective followed by the US Open and Wimbledon, so a good start here is very important for me,” he said.