From Ons Jabeur to Naomi Osaka - complete player guide for Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open

Ten of the world's top 20, and two superstar wildcards, will compete at Zayed Sports City

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The second edition of the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open gets under way on Monday as many of the world's best female tennis players battle for glory at Zayed Sports City.

With 10 of the world's top 20 in action, plus a couple of superstar wildcard entries, the competition is sure to be fierce at the WTA 500 tournament.

Before the matches begin, get to know the players with this complete guide (listed in order of world ranking).

Elena Rybakina

World ranking: 5 (career-high No 3)

Career singles titles: 6

Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open record: Quarter-finals (2023)

Part of the WTA Tour's "Big Four" alongside Iga Swaitek, Aryna Sabalenka, and Coco Gauff, Rybakina surged to stardom in the summer of 2022 by winning the Wimbledon title.

The 24-year-old Kazakh, known for her massive serve and power hitting, began 2024 in style by winning the Brisbane International, destroying eventual two-time Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka in the final, only to fall to a shock second-round defeat in Melbourne.

Despite that setback, she should still be considered the player to beat at Zayed Sports City; having reached the quarter-finals last year and at the one-off Abu Dhabi WTA Women's Tennis Open in 2021, Rybakina has more experience than most of the Abu Dhabi courts and conditions.

Ons Jabeur

World ranking: 6 (career-high No 2)

Career singles titles: 5

Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open record: Debut

One of the most prominent and adored athletes in the Arab world, Jabeur has been making history throughout her trailblazing career, and will undoubtedly enjoy the majority of support in Abu Dhabi.

The 29-year-old Tunisian, the highest-ranked Arab tennis player ever and the first woman from the region to reach a Grand Slam final, was set to headline last year's inaugural tournament but withdrew due to health and fitness reasons. While this year will be her debut appearance, Jabeur has experience of the Zayed Sports City court having competed twice at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition event.

A stylish player with an arsenal of tricks and great variety, Jabeur will hope to kick-start her 2024 season in the capital after a disappointing Australian Open, where she was resoundingly beaten in the second round.

Maria Sakkari

World ranking: 9 (career-high No 3)

Career singles titles: 2

Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open record: Debut

One of the fittest and most athletic players on the WTA Tour, 28-year-old Sakkari enjoyed a bright start to the season with a 100 per cent record representing Greece at the United Cup. However, her largely disappointing Grand Slam record continued with a second-round loss at the Australian Open.

Still, she will hope to build on her last visit to Abu Dhabi, when she reached the semi-finals of the Abu Dhabi WTA Women's Tennis Open in 2021. Very much a confidence player – as revealed in the Netlfix series Break Point – Sakkari certainly has the ability to go all the way next week if she finds form and momentum.

Barbora Krejcikova

World ranking: 11 (career-high No 2)

Career singles titles: 7

Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open record: Second round (2023)

The 28-year-old Czech is something of a late bloomer. Krejcikova initially made her name alongside compatriot Katerina Siniakova on the doubles circuit, where together they have won seven Grand Slam titles. Then in 2021, she made the ultimate breakthrough as a singles player by winning the French Open. Since then, Krejcikova has become a regular contender on the singles circuit, amassing seven titles.

Her two previous visits to Abu Dhabi both ended in second-round defeats, although she has tasted success in the UAE; she is the reigning champion at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, where she defeated world No 1 Swiatek in the final.

Jelena Ostapenko

World ranking: 12 (career-high No 5)

Career singles titles: 7

Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open record: Second round (2023)

There are few players as entertaining to watch as Ostapenko, whose default mode is to try and hit winners at every available opportunity. When the Latvian is in the zone, she's almost impossible to stop, but when the radar is off, she can be beaten by most players. That prospect of inconsistency makes her essential viewing.

Ostapenko, 26, burst on to the scene in 2017 when she won the French Open as an unseeded 20-year-old for her first career title and has since added six more trophies to her collection.

Her most recent triumph came at the start of this season when she won the Adelaide International but she could only reach the third round of the Australian Open. She has shown strong enough form so far in 2024 to suggest she should be a contender in Abu Dhabi.

Beatriz Haddad Maia

World ranking: 13 (career-high No 10)

Career singles titles: 3

Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open record: Semi-final (2023)

One of the stars of the inaugural tournament 12 months ago, Haddad Maia reached the semi-finals before going down to eventual champion Belinda Bencic. Among her victories was a quarter-final triumph over Rybakina.

The 24-year-old Brazilian has had a mixed start to 2024, winning half of her six matches while recording her best result at the Australian Open by reaching the third round. Given her success last season in the capital, Haddad Maia will have ambitions to go deep again at Zayed Sports City.

Daria Kasatkina

World ranking: 14 (career-high No 8)

Career singles titles: 6

Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open record: Quarter-final (2023)

The top seed at last year's tournament, Kasatkina won one match and lost one; after receiving a bye into the second round, the Russian beat Jil Teichmann but was defeated by recent Australian Open finalist Qinwen Zheng in the quarter-finals.

A player of remarkable consistency from the baseline, 26-year-old Kasatkina has had a busy start to the season having played three tournaments already, reaching the quarter-finals in Brisbane and the final in Adelaide, before losing in the Australian Open second round.

Liudmila Samsonova

World ranking: 15 (career-high No 12)

Career singles titles: 4

Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open record: Final (2023)

Samsonova had the inaugural Abu Dhabi trophy in her grasp; after racing to a one-set lead 6-1, the Russian saw three match points in a marathon second-set tiebreak come and go before Bencic sealed the victory in a tense decider.

The 25-year-old Samsonova will hope the positive memories of last year – where she beat Krejcikova and Zheng en route to the final – will help kickstart her season as she is yet to win a match from three tournaments in 2024, falling at the first hurdle in Brisbane, Adelaide and at the Australian Open.

Veronika Kudermetova

World ranking: 16 (career-high No 9)

Career singles titles: 2

Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open record: Quarter-final (2023)

Kudermetova enjoyed her first trip to the capital for the Abu WTA Women's Tennis Open in 2021 when she reached the final, and made the quarter-finals of the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open 12 months ago, losing to eventual finalist Samsonova. She has also fared well down the road in Dubai, reaching the 2022 final.

The 26-year-old Russian is yet to find her best form in 2024, winning two matches in three tournaments, including a first-round defeat at the Australian Open.

Caroline Garcia

World ranking: 20 (career-high No 4)

Career singles titles: 11

Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open record: Debut

A frequent participant at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, where she reached the semi-finals in 2016, Garcia will make her debut in Abu Dhabi this year.

One of the most established players on the WTA Tour, the 30-year-old Frenchwoman's crowning moment came at the 2022 WTA Finals and she boasts an enviable record in finals: 16 played, 11 won. For a player of her undoubted talent, Garcia has a curiously underwhelming Grand Slam record, reaching one quarter-final (2017 French Open) and one semi-final (2022 US Open).

That record continued at the Australian Open this month where she only reached the second round, following an impressive United Cup campaign with France (three wins, one defeat), and a second-round exit in Adelaide.

Emma Navarro

World ranking: 23 (career-high No 23)

Career singles titles: 1

Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open record: Debut

Of all the players competing in Abu Dhabi, Navarro arrives in arguably the finest form. The 22-year-old American began the season by reaching the Auckland Classic semi-finals, losing to eventual champion Gauff, before clinching her maiden title at the Hobart International. She then produced her best Grand Slam showing by reaching the Australian Open third round.

Navarro, enjoying a career-high ranking, should be full of confidence ahead of the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open and could be one to watch.

Jasmine Paolini

World ranking: 24 (career-high No 24)

Career singles titles: 1

Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open record: Debut

Like Navarro, Paolini enters the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open with a career-high ranking following her best showing at a major, making the Australian Open fourth round.

The 28-year-old Italian, whose sole title came at the 2021 Slovenian Open and who helped Italy reach the final of the Billie Jean King Cup last year, has experience of the Zayed Sports City courts having played at the Abu WTA Women's Tennis Open. Another player who could make a deep run next week given her good recent form.

Sorana Cirstea

World ranking: 25 (career-high No 21)

Career singles titles: 2

Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open record: First round (2023)

The Romanian veteran's impressive longevity is perhaps best exemplified by her two best Grand Slam results. She made her first major quarter-final at the French Open in 2009 then emulated that feat 14 years later at the US Open last season.

However, since New York, Cirstea's form has nosedived; she has only won one match in six tournaments since, beginning this season with successive losses in Brisbane, Adelaide, and Melbourne. The 33-year-old lost in the first round in Abu Dhabi last year, so will need to go one better to end her frustrating start to the year.

Anastasia Potapova

World ranking: 27 (career-high No 21)

Career singles titles: 2

Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open record: First round (2023)

An encouraging start to the season by Potapova was stopped in its tracks when she retired injured in the Brisbane International quarter-finals and she proceeded to lose in the Australian Open first round two weeks later.

A two-time winner on the WTA Tour, the 22-year-old Russian will aim to improve on her Abu Dhabi debut from 12 months ago when she lost in the opening round to Sakkari.

Lesia Tsurenko

World ranking: 31 (career-high No 23)

Career singles titles: 4

Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open record: Debut

After an encouraging start to the Australian Open, Tsurenko will want to block her most recent match from her memory. Taking on defending, and eventual, champion Sabalenka in the third round, the Ukrainian was crushed 6-0, 6-0 in less than an hour.

Still, the 34-year-old has the experience to quickly bounce back and has been impressive in returning to the top of the game having suffered a loss of form a couple of years ago. Making her debut in Abu Dhabi, Tsurenko will hope her many years competing in Dubai will help her adapt to the conditions.

Anhelina Kalinina

World ranking: 32 (career-high No 25)

Career singles titles: 0

Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open record: Debut

A prolific player on the ITF circuit with 15 titles, 26-year-old Kalinina was one win away from a massive trophy last season but retired injured in the final of the Italian Masters. Since Rome eight months ago, the Ukrainian has struggled for form and has lost all three matches so far this season.

Kalinina will be making her first appearance in Abu Dhabi but has competed twice down the road at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Magda Linette

World ranking: 56 (career-high No 19)

Career singles titles: 2

Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open record: Debut

A surprise semi-finalist at the 2023 Australian Open, Linette saw her ranking plummet last week after retiring in the first round of this year's tournament. Dating back to the end of last season, the 31-year-old Pole has been on a poor run of form, losing eight of her last nine matches.

Linette, 31, is yet to play a main draw match in the UAE – she twice fell short in qualifying in Dubai – so will be aiming to fare much better on her Abu Dhabi debut.

Alexandra Eala

World ranking: 184 (career-high No 184)

Career singles titles: 0

Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open record: Debut

The Philippines' top-ranked player is sure to receive a huge amount of support on her Abu Dhabi debut after receiving a wildcard into the main draw.

Eala, 18, has already been making her mark on the ITF circuit with four titles from seven finals and will be making her ninth appearance on the WTA Tour when she takes to the court at Zayed Sports City. She also enjoyed an impressive junior career, winning the 2022 US Open and two major doubles titles at the Australian Open in 2020 and French Open in 2021.

Emma Raducanu

World ranking: 295 (career-high No 10)

Career singles titles: 1

Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open record: Debut

The first player to receive a wildcard, Raducanu is in the early stages of her comeback after cutting short her 2023 season last April due to serious wrist and ankle injuries. Those fitness issues contributed to a difficult two years following her historic triumph at the 2021 US Open, where she became the first qualifier in the Open era to win a Grand Slam title.

There have been encouraging signs so far this season that the 21-year-old Briton is on the right track in terms of regaining fitness and sharpness, with two wins and two defeats so far.

Raducanu will be making her debut in Abu Dhabi, although she has competed at Zayed Sports City before when she played Jabeur at the 2022 Mubadala World Tennis Championship event.

Naomi Osaka

World ranking: 759 (career-high No 1)

Career singles titles: 7

Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open record: Debut

One of the biggest stars in global tennis continues her highly-anticipated comeback in Abu Dhabi next week after Osaka accepted a wildcard from the tournament organisers.

Prior to her return earlier this month, the four-time Grand Slam champion had been absent from the tour since September 2022 when she decided to take a break to prioritise her mental health. The Japanese former world No 1 then announced in January last year that she was pregnant, and after giving birth to her daughter last July, skipped the remainder of the season.

The 26-year-old's comeback has so far consisted of one win and two losses, and while she is lacking match fitness, the magic is still there. Osaka will be making her Abu Dhabi debut but has played three times in Dubai, reaching the quarter-finals in 2018.

Updated: January 31, 2024, 12:28 PM