The oil rich capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi, seems to be the new sporting hotspot. After successfully hosting the UFC now it has turned its attention to WTA tennis. Avid tennis fans will know that Abu Dhabi for years has hosted the Mubadala World Tennis Championship too. An event graced regularly by Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
Abu Dhabi WTA 500
Zayed Sports City International Tennis Centre in Abu Dhabi will host this event. Like any other major WTA event, this event too will have the qualifiers first followed by the main draw. The main attractions in this edition of the event are Sofia Kenin, Elina Svitolina, Karolina Pliskova and Aryna Sabalenka.
Sofia Kenin the reigning Australian Open Champion will be a crowd favorite. Middle Eastern tennis fans know Elina Svitolina well. She has to her credit two Dubai Duty free Championships won back to back in 2017 and 2018. Garbiñe Muguruza too will grace the occasion with her presence. Muguruza not too long ago was World Number1, and has 2 Grand Slam trophies to her credit. A potential lip-smacking contest awaits in the Quarterfinals, where Sofia Kenin might end up playing Garbine Muguruza.
Player to watch out for: Ons Jabeur
Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur will fly solo with the Arab flag. During the 2020 Australian Open she reached the Quarterfinals, losing to eventual champion Sofia Kenin. In the process, she became the first Arab woman to reach the knockouts of a Grand Slam. She will have a lot of support in this tournament.
Some key first round matches include;
Muguruza vs. Mladenovic, Jabeur vs Pavlyuchenkova, Pliskova vs Cirstea, Mertens vs Cornet, Svitolina vs Pegula.