• ATP Tour

Djokovic to open 2012 season against Monfils

ESPN staff
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Novak Djokovic returns the ball to Marin Cilic © Getty Images
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World No.1 Novak Djokovic will kick off his 2012 season against Gael Monfils at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi.

The Serb, who claimed ten titles and won record prize money in 2011, will make his debut in Abu Dhabi in preparation for the defence of his Australian Open title.

Should Djokovic successfully navigate his way past Monfils on December 29, the world No. 1 will face Roger Federer in the semi-finals, while Rafael Nadal awaits the winner of the the match-up between world No. 5 David Ferrer and Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the Abu Dhabi International Tennis Complex.

The tournament is not an ATP Tour sanctioned event, but Djokovic is hoping to use the exhibition as a springboard to further success in 2012.

"This season has been very special as I've probably played the best tennis of my life, but I remain focused on the future and continuing my form into next season starting with Abu Dhabi," he said.

"Obviously a tournament of real quality to begin the season is vital for building early momentum and [Abu Dhabi] is the perfect place to start."

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