Svitolina, Muguruza, Ostapenko and Kerber: Players to watch at WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

A strong entry list has signed up for the 18th staging of the women's competition in Dubai, which takes place between February 19 and 24.

epa06460959 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine celebrates after winning her fourth round match against Denisa Allertova of the Czech Republic at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, 22 January 2018.  EPA/TRACEY NEARMY AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT
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Ahead of the start of the women's competition at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship on Monday, here is a looking at some of the leading players to watch out for.

SINGAPORE - OCTOBER 27:  Elina Svitolina of Ukraine plays a forehand in her singles match against Simona Halep of Romania during day 6 of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global at Singapore Sports Hub on October 27, 2017 in Singapore.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Elina Svitolina

World Ranking 3

Nationality Ukrainian

Age 23

Best performance in Dubai 2017 winner

Triumphing in last year's final, where she beat Wozniacki to lift the title, was the catalyst for Svitolina's surge to the top of the women's game.

Victory in Dubai saw her go up into the top 10 for the first time in her career, and he has kicked on since then and is now world No 3.

Has had a good start to 2018, winning in Brisbane and reaching the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

She is bidding to be only the third player, after Justine Henin and Venus Williams, to successfully defend the Dubai title.


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BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 02:  Garbine Muguruza of Spain plays a backhand in her match against Aleksandra Krunic of Serbia during day three of the 2018 Brisbane International at Pat Rafter Arena on January 2, 2018 in Brisbane, Australia.  (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Garbine Muguruza

World ranking 4

Nationality Spanish

Age 24

Best performance in Dubai 2015 semi-finalist

The Wimbledon champion is struggling with inconsistency. When she is at her best she can be unstoppable, as her charge to the Wimbledon title last July showed.

Has not had a great start to 2018, her second round exit in the Australian Open a real disappointment, but if she can find her best form then she can be a genuine threat to the rest of the field in Dubai.

SINGAPORE - OCTOBER 24:  Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic plays a forehand in her singles match against Garbine Muguruza of Spain during day 3 of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global at Singapore Sports Hub on October 24, 2017 in Singapore.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Karolina Pliskova

World ranking 5

Nationality Czech Republic

Age 25

Best performance in Dubai 2015 runner-up

Pliskova has had a consistent start to the year with a semi-final in Brisbane and a quarter-final finish at the Australian Open.

Her power from the back of the court means she will always be a force to be reckoned with. Goes well in Dubai as her run to the final in 2015 highlights.

Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia returns the ball to Serena Williams of the US during the Mubadala World Tennis Championship 2017 match in Abu Dhabi, on December 30, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / NEZAR BALOUT

Jelena Ostapenko

World ranking 6

Nationality Latvian

Age 20

Best performance in Dubai 2016 Last 32

The 2017 French Open champion is back in Dubai for the third time in her career.

It is a quick return for the Latvian to the UAE after she made history with Serena Williams in December by playing in the first women's match at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi.

Has not recaptured her form of 2017 so far this year, highlighted by her third round exit at the Australian Open.

epa06456435 Angelique Kerber of Germany celebrates after winning her third round match against Maria Sharapova of Russia at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, 20 January 2018.  EPA/TRACEY NEARMY AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT

Angelique Kerber

World ranking 9

Nationality German

Age 30

Best performance in Dubai 2017 Semi-finalist

Kerber appears to have re-found the form that took her to the world No 1 spot in 2016 and saw her win two majors.

She won in Sydney and reached the semi-finals in the Australian Open before losing an epic match with Halep.

Her run to the semi-finals in Dubai 12 months ago was one of her better performances in a dismal 2017, and she should be a real contender for the title this time around.

Tennis - Fed Cup World Group First Round - Czech Republic vs Switzerland - O2 Arena, Prague, Czech Republic - February 11, 2018   Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova celebrates after winning her singles match against Switzerland's Belinda Bencic   REUTERS/Milan Kammermayer     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Petra Kvitova

World ranking 21

Nationality Czech Republic

Age 27

Best performance in Dubai 2013 winner

Kvitova appears to be putting the trauma of the knife attack in her home by an intruder in December 2016 that left her with injuries to her left hand.

The double Wimbledon champion won in St Petersburg earlier in February and is moving back up the rankings and is now at No 21.

The 2013 Dubai winner will be someone the top seeds will be keen to avoid in the early rounds.

Grandstand ticket prices for the WTA event start at Dh55 for opening rounds to Dh735 for the ATP final (the men's event runs from February 26 to March 3), with daily Prime A and Prime B tickets and season tickets also available. Tickets are available at the box office, open from 9am-9pm every day.
Go to for ticket sales.