Eight of the Top 10 players will kick off main-draw action at the WTA 500 tournament in Dubai next week. Jimmie48 is already in the United Arab Emirates, taking behind-the-scenes and on-court photos of players getting ready for this important event on the tennis calendar.
Defending champion Garbine Muguruza has a big challenge ahead, as the 2022 Australian Open runner-up Danielle Collins awaits in the first round.
On Friday, Muguruza practiced with Iga Swiatek, who is seeded sixth this year.
Swiatek’s first opponent will be 2018 Dubai finalist Daria Kasatkina.
Top seed is Aryna Sabalenka. The Belarusian’s first-round opponent will be a qualifier.
2013 Dubai champion Petra Kvitova will take on Camila Giorgi in the opening round.
Ons Jabeur, the first Arab woman to clinch a WTA singles title, was caught practicing on Saturday. Her first obstacle will be former world No.2 Vera Zvonareva.
Simona Halep and Elina Svitolina both won the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title twice. During Saturday’s draw ceremony, they posed with the familiar trophy.
The first round will also feature a clash of two Grand Slam champions, as 2020 Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin will play 2017 Roland Garros titlist Jelena Ostapenko.
Coco Gauff was interviewed by CNN ahead of her Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships campaign.
In her tournament debut last year, the American teenager reached her first WTA 1000 quarterfinal (Middle Eastern tournaments Dubai and Doha alternate between WTA 1000 and WTA 500 status each year).
Gauff’s first obstacle will be compatriot Jessica Pegula.
Main-draw play at the 22nd edition of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships begins on Monday with a loaded field full of big WTA names. Out of the Top 10 players, only No.1 Ashleigh Barty and No.4 Karolina Pliskova are absent. The singles final will be on Saturday.