Ons Jabeur to partner Naomi Osaka in doubles at Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open

DUBAI: The world’s top 10 players have all confirmed they will play at this year’s Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, which includes No. 1 Iga Swiatek and No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka.

Swiatek, who suffered a shock defeat to teenager Linda Noskova at the Australian Open, will be looking to avenge the final defeat she suffered in Dubai last year at the hands of Barbara Krejcikova (No. 11). Czech star Krejcikova will return to the emirate to defend her crown for the 24th edition of the WTA Tour Tournament, which was recently awarded permanent WTA 1000 status.

Sabalenka will face fellow Dubai participant and world No. 4 Coco Gauff in an exciting semifinal showdown on Thursday in Melbourne as the big-hitting Belarussian looks to secure a second successive Australian Open title.

“We are absolutely delighted to have so many of the world’s best female players with us here in Dubai,” said Colm McLoughlin, executive vice chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free. “It demonstrates the magnitude of our WTA 1000 event and the esteem with which it is held. To have 18 of the world’s 20 top-ranked players competing here next month underlines how popular this event is, and we are looking forward to another exciting WTA tournament.”

Other names confirmed for the women’s tournament include 2023 Australian Open finalist and 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina (No. 3), American ace Jessica Pegula (No. 5), history-making Arab superstar Ons Jabeur (No. 6), reigning Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova (No. 7), two-time Grand Slam semifinalist Maria Sakkari (No. 8), 2023 French Open finalist Karolina Muchova (No. 9), and French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko (No. 10).

Tournament Director Salah Tahlak added: “It is fantastic to have so many of the world’s top female players with us once more in Dubai. Every year this tournament grows in significance, further underlined by the permanent WTA 1000 status the competition has been awarded.”

The women’s tournament between Feb. 18 and 24 is followed by the 32nd staging of the emirate’s annual men’s ATP event from Feb. 26 to March 2.

The championship is owned and organized by Dubai Duty Free and held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, vice-president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai.

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