Barty withdraws from Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships due to leg injury - GulfToday

Barty withdraws from Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships due to leg injury


Ashleigh Barty pulled out of Qatar Open and Dubai Tennis Championship due to a niggling leg injury. File

World number one Ashleigh Barty will not compete at the Dubai Championships next week because of a leg injury, she said in a statement on Monday.

“Unfortunately I have withdrawn from the Dubai Duty Free (DDF) Tennis Championships with a left leg injury,” she said in a statement published by the WTA.

“I look forward to competing again in Miami in a few weeks’ time.”

Barty, who also dropped out of the Qatar Open currently underway in Doha, is the reigning champion at Miami.

Unseeded American Danielle Collins sent an out-of-sorts Barty crashing out of the Adelaide International in the second round last month.

Collins seized on some poor serving from the Australian to claim a convincing 6-3, 6-4 win in just 65 minutes. It was Collins’ first win over Barty in three encounters and her first win against a current world number one.

The 21st staging of the WTA 1000 event takes place from Match 7 to March 13 and is followed by the 29th star-studded ATP tournament from March 14 to March 20.

The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is owned and organised by Dubai Duty Free and held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Owners and organisers Dubai Duty Free have left no stone unturned to ensure the health and safety of all who participate in the two-week event, which this year will be hosted in line with Covid-19 guidelines and will be spectator free.

The tournament organising committee, headed up by Ramesh Cidambi, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Dubai Duty Free, has been working along with the Dubai Sports Council and Dubai Health Authority and adhering to the protocols put in place by the Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management.

“We have been in constant communication with the Dubai Sports Council and the Dubai Health Authority on the protocols required for staging this world-class event in Dubai,” said Ramesh Cidambi. “We would like to thank the UAE authorities for their ongoing support and we are looking forward to staging a great tournament.”

Frequent consultations have also been ongoing with officials from both the ATP and WTA Tours to ensure the well-being of all players and officials who will be attending the event.

“We are putting all the precautions in place to ensure the safest of environments for everyone involved,” said Tournament Director Salah Tahlak.

Ostapenko, Muguruza move ahead in QATAR OPEN: Meanwhile, the Qatar Open started on Monday with a collection of wins by former finalists, as Jelena Ostapenko, Garbine Muguruza, and Angelique Kerber kicked off the WTA 500 event with opening-round victories.

Ostapenko, who was the Doha runner-up in her tournament debut in 2016, notched an early upset in her opener, easing past No.5 seed Kiki Bertens, 6-0, 6-2.

2017 Roland Garros champion Ostapenko put on a command performance against Bertens, collecting her 21st win over a Top 20 foe in her career.

Ostapenko, who reached the second WTA singles final of her career in Doha five years ago, crushed 26 winners to 19 unforced errors, a sturdy ratio for her aggressive style of play.

Bertens was contesting her first match since having Achilles surgery at the end of 2020, a gap of five months in her play. The former World No.4 kept her first-serve percentage solid but her powerful play only resulted in six winners on the day.

Winners abounded from the racquet of Ostapenko as she zipped through the first set, and more cracking forehands in the second set pulled the Latvian to a 5-1 lead, putting her a game away from victory.

Former World No.1 Muguruza also came up with a straight-set win, ousting Veronika Kudermetova, 6-2, 7-6(4). Muguruza, making her sixth straight appearance in the Doha main draw, reached the final in 2018.

The Spaniard has only been defeated by Top 30 players thus far in 2021, and the two-time major champion kept that streak going with her one-and-three-quarter-hour win over World No.34 Kudermetova.

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