Swiatek looks to avenge last year’s final defeat at DDF Tennis Championships - GulfToday

Swiatek looks to avenge last year’s final defeat at DDF Tennis Championships


Victory in Dubai would move Iga Swiatek closer to the milestone of 100 weeks at the top of the WTA Rankings – yet she has never won in the Emirate.

Thursday marks 10 days until the start of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, which promise a star-studded lineup for both its annual WTA 1000 tournament and the proceeding ATP 500 men’s event.

Running back-to-back from February 18 to March 2, the non-stop action will as ever take place at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, offering fans from across the region a chance to watch elite athletes compete for their chance to lift the Emirate’s two illustrious trophies. Among the confirmed participants for the WTA event is four-time Grand Slam winner and current World No.1, Iga Swiatek.

Swiatek, who suffered a shock loss to unseeded Linda Noskova in the third round of last month’s Australian Open, will be determined to redeem herself in Dubai, especially after falling in last year’s final to world No. 11 Barbara Krejcikova. The 22-year-old Polish sensation currently holds the top spot in the official WTA rankings with 9770 points, boasting an 865-point lead over two-time Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka, who will also be competing in Dubai.

Having maintained her position at No1 for 89 weeks, Swiatek is set to jet in looking to add Dubai to her growing list of titles for the first time. A win in the Emirate would extend her lead to 1,395 points and bring her closer to the 100-week milestone as the world’s top-ranked female player. The last player to reach the milestone was Ashleigh Barty, who recorded 121 weeks at the top of the standings before retiring in March 2022.

“Each year, we look to attract the world’s best players to our tournament,” said Salah Tahlak, Joint COO of Dubai Duty Free and Tournament Director of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. “We are obviously delighted to have Iga joining us again. To have the world’s top-ranked female player compete in Dubai is great for the tournament, great for the city, and of course great for Iga too as the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships has regularly been voted ‘Tournament of the Year’ by players on both the ATP and WTA Tour.”

With 17 of the world’s top 20 female players, including Swiatek, world No3 Coco Gauff, and world No5 Elena Rybakina confirmed, this year’s WTA tournament – which recently had its 1000 status made permanent – has one of its strongest fields on record. And with only 10 days until the first round gets underway, fans are being urged to buy their tickets as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

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