Dubai: The world’s best tennis players are set to return to Dubai next month for the 2013 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship.
Following a thrilling win in the final against Britain’s Andy Murray last year, five-time champion Roger Federer will be back to delight the crowds as he takes on world number one Novak Djokovic in the men’s tournament.
Meanwhile, in the women’s event, defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska will be up against world number one Victoria Azarenka and perennial favourite Serena Williams.
Staged at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium in Garhoud, the tournament will run from February 18 to March 2, with the action commencing with the $2 million (Dh7.34 million) WTA event, followed on February 25 by the $2 million ATP tournament.
Commenting on this year’s event, Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice-Chairman of Dubai Duty Free, the tournament owners and organisers, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming the world’s best players back to Dubai. We are looking forward to some thrilling matches, with so many great players here the fans will be able to see world-class tennis on every day of the tournament.
“With the men’s and women’s world number one players here, along with the current holders of five Grand Slam crowns and both defending champions from last year, Dubai tennis fans are set for a sporting treat second to none” he added.
The women’s event has attracted nine of the top ten players in the world, Azarenka, Radwanska and Williams being joined by Angelique Kerber, Sara Errani, Li Na, Petra Kvitova, Sam Stosur and 2011 champion Caroline Wozniacki. Between them, this group of players collected a remarkable 27 WTA titles last year, guaranteeing tough competition from the first round.
Azarenka maintained her position at the top of the rankings for the second year in a row, and Radwanska moved from eighth to fourth and is poised to move into the top three this year.
Veteran Serena Williams proved she still has what it takes, winning Wimbledon, the US Open, the Olympic gold medal and the WTA Championship in a string of impressive victories and firmly re-establishing herself as the dominant figure in women’s tennis. She has begun 2013 in the same way, winning the Brisbane International convincingly and establishing herself a real contender to put her name on the Dubai honour roll for the first time.
The men’s draw will be finalised in the coming week, but organisers are expecting a stellar line-up of six of the top-ten players, with Tomas Berdych, Janko Tipsarevic, Juan Martin del Potro and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga lining up against Federer and Djokovic.
The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Tickets for the event will go on sale on January 14 from the box office at the Dubai Tennis Stadium, Garhoud, which opens from 9am to 9pm daily. Grandstand tickets can also be bought online at http://www.timeouttickets.com/. For further information about tickets, prices and the tournament, visit http://www.dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com/ or phone the call centre on +971 4 358 9797 .