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Sports stars return for Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

posted on 10/01/2014: 1783 views

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, the world's best tennis players are set to return to Dubai next month for the 2014 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship, one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the UAE sporting calendar, and one of the most popular tournaments on the international tennis circuit.

With five of the top ten men and six of the top ten women competing, the event will again feature the world's best players as they battle it out for the coveted Dubai title.

Following a thrilling win in the final last year, four time champion Novak Djokovic will be back to delight the crowds as he takes on Roger Federer in the men's tournament, while in the women's event, defending champion Petra Kvitova will be up against the 2012 Dubai title holder, Agnieszka Radwanska, and four former world number ones.

Staged at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium in Garhoud, the tournament will run from 17th February to 1st March, with the action commencing with the US$2 million WTA event, followed by the US$2 million ATP tournament.

Commenting on this year's event, Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman of Dubai Duty Free, the tournament owners and organisers, said, "We are delighted to be welcoming the world's best players back to Dubai. We are looking forward to some thrilling matches, with so many great players here the fans will be able to see world class tennis on every day of the tournament.

"With five of the top ten men, six of the top ten women, and five former world number ones, Dubai tennis fans are set for another sporting treat" he added.

The women's event has attracted a strong field with sixteen of the top twenty women competing, including former world number ones, Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic and Caroline Wozniacki, who also won the Dubai title in 2011, and previous Grand Slam winners Samantha Stosur and Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Also in the field is the 2013 WTA Most Improved Player, Simona Halep, who is currently ranked 11 after taking six singles titles last year, along with rising star Sloane Stephens who jumped 26 places in the rankings to number 13 after defeating both Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova during the year.

The men's entry list will be finalised in the coming week, but organisers are expecting a stellar line up of five of the top ten players with last year's finalist Tomas Berdych, and big hitters Juan Martin Del Potro and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga lining up against Federer and Djokovic.

With the tournament kicking off in just under six weeks, the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Organising Committee met this week to ensure all is in place for a record breaking event which will see non-stop action and excitement both on and off the court for the entire fortnight. This year marks the 22nd men's event and the 14th women's event, and the stage is set for another exhilarating tournament.

The Committee also reviewed plans for a packed social programme to accompany the event, with the popular Ladies' Day, Kids' Days and Fantastic Fan Day planned to be bigger and better this year with many competitions and opportunities for lucky fans to win coveted finals' tickets. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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