At the new Abu Dhabi Women’s Open starting Wednesday, players are heading to Dubai for the Australian Open qualifying event starting Sunday.
From the beginning of all plans for the Australian Open, our goal was to provide players with as many competitive opportunities as possible and the ability to win as much prize money as possible. Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley
In the AO qualifiers, there will be 128 draws competing for 16 spots in the main draw starting February 8th at Melbourne Park.
The decision to hold the qualifying event offshore is due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“From the beginning of every plan for the Australian Open, our goal was to provide players with as many competitive opportunities as possible and the ability to win as much prize money as possible,” said the Australian Open Tournament Director. Craig Tylie said.
Two-time Australian Open and Roland Garros doubles champion and half of the 2020 WTA Doubles Team of the Year, Timea Bavos is one of the participants in the singles qualifying field.
Former WTA World No. 5 and 2014 Australian Open semi-finalist Eugenie Bouchard and experienced Swiss player Stephanie Bogere aiming for the eighth main draw at the Australian Open are also in Dubai Compete.
Other notable candidates include Australian Open 2012 quarter-finalists Saraelani, former WTA World No. 20 Mihaela Buzarnesque, 2020 US Open quarter-finalists Tsubetana Pilonkova, and former WTA World No. 35. Includes CiCiBellis.
Kimberly Birrell and Ellen Perez join the qualifying wildcards Theone Mendes, Abbey Myers, Storm Sanders, Ibana Popovich, Olivia Gadeck, Charlotte Kempeners Potts and Alexandra Bozovic, nine Australian women Compete in Dubai.
To make the main draw, the player must win the best three of the three sets of qualifying matches.
Following the event, 16 qualifiers will be joined by 6 more alternative players to travel to Australia for a 14-day forced quarantine with other main draw players.
The qualifying lottery will be held on Saturday, January 9th.
© Tim Clayton / Corbis via Getty Images
Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi’s draw has not yet been announced, but the 64-player field includes Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, world No. 5 Elina Svitolina, former world No. 1 Karolina Pliskova, and winner Arina Savalenka. Is understood to take the lead. Of the last two WTA titles of the 2020 season.
Former Roland Garros champions Galvinem Gurza, Elena Ostapenko and Svetlana Kuznetsova are among the top 10 player quartets.
Among the rising stars of the game on the entry list are Coco Gauff, Elena Rybakina, Elise Mertens and Marketa Vondrousova.
Nadia Podolska, the 2020 French Open semi-finalist, and Ons Jabeur, the two-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist, are also on the field with Maria Sakkari, 22nd in the world.
As a pair, Mertens and Sabalenka lead 32 pairs of doublesfields alongside the Czech partnership of Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova.
World No. 12 Belinda Bencic preferred to opt out of Abu Dhabi and focus on her training instead, even though he intended to play in both Abu Dhabi and Melbourne.
This decision hit Kenin, who wanted to team up with Switzerland in doubles at both events.
Bencic has joined Abu Dhabi’s absentee list, including Sai Sai Chen, Caroline Garcia, Elena Ostapenko, Danielle Collins, Patricia Maria Tig, Katerina Sr. Kova and Alison van Witvank.
For No. 1 and No. 2 in the world, neither Ashleigh Barty nor Simona Halep planned to play in the Gulf.
Bertie didn’t intend to leave Australia, but Halep recently said: “I’m not injured, but I thought I should go straight to Australia. Abu Dhabi also had restrictions, and it was difficult to stay in the hotel for 14 days and then quarantine for another 14 days.
“I decided so at the 2020 tournament because I felt it was a good decision given that it wasn’t easy for me.”
Abu Dhabi qualifying starts on Tuesday and the main draw action starts on Wednesday. You can follow this on Amazon Prime Video.
Elsewhere, the ITF Women’s World Tennis Tour will host W15 events this week in Cairo, Antalya and Monastir. ITFtennis.com..
– Tennis Sports
Women kick off 2021 in the Gulf
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