Six of the world’s top-10 female players including world No 1 Iga Swiatek and defending champion Jelena Ostapenko are confirmed to play next month's WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
The star-studded line-up also includes those ranked two, three and four by the WTA – Ons Jabeur, Jessica Pegula and Caroline Garcia - as well as Daria Kasatkina and Veronika Kudermetova, ranked eighth and ninth respectively.
Latvia's Ostapenko beat Russia's Veronika Kudermetova 6-0, 6-4 in last year's final and organisers have confirmed the 25-year-old will return to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium to defend her title.
Poland’s Swiatek, 21 and like many currently bidding to win the Australian Open, added two more Grand Slam titles to her collection in 2022 to finish the year top of the WTA rankings, following up her second French Open title with a maiden win at the US Open.
Her opponent at Flushing Meadows – Jabeur – meanwhile became the first Arab to reach a Grand Slam final when she progressed to the final at Wimbledon and again at the US Open last year. A crowd favourite, the Tunisian is the highest ranked African in tennis history.
“Each year, we strive to build on past achievements and attract the world’s best to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. With 14 of the top-20 women confirmed we have one of our strongest fields ever. This year’s tournament promises to be another highly enjoyable experience for spectators, players, sponsors and media ,” said Colm McLoughlin, executive vice chairman and chief executive of Dubai Duty Free.
Swiatek beats Jabeur in US Open final
Other names confirmed for the February 19-25 event include 2017 US Open finalist Madison Keys; Dubai-based Spaniard Paula Badosa, and Brazilian No 1 Beatriz Haddad Maia.
Tournament Director Salah Tahlak added: “The field for this year’s Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is a fantastic mix of established stars, previous champions and upcoming talents. We are looking forward to the WTA week bringing thrilling tennis from the best in the women’s game, followed of course by the ATP men’s week.”
The men's event runs from February 27-March 5. So far, world No 1 and 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, winner of 21 majors, are the big names confirmed for the ATP tournament.
Tickets for the Championships to go on sale online on January 17. Fans and spectators can purchase tickets directly from dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com.