Without any of the Big 4 in the field, the Dubai tournament began on Sunday with six matches including wins by Kei Nishikori over Reilly Opelka, Australian Open semifinalist Aslan Karatsev topping Egor Gerasimov and Malek Jaziri eliminated former Top 5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Leading the 48-draw event will be top seed Dominic Thiem followed by Andrey Rublev, Denis Shapovalov and Roberto Bautista Agut.
Eight-time champion Roger Federer withdrew as did his countryman Stan Wawrinka.
Seeded quarterfinals: Thiem-Goffin, Shapovalov-Khachanov, Evans (replaced Wawrinka)-RBA, PCB-Rublev.
Jannik Sinner, Taylor Fritz, Borna Coric and Doha champion Nikolaz Basilashvili are also in the draw.
Bautista Agut is the lone former champion in the field taking the title in 2018 over Lucas Pouille.
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