Dubai: The defending champion of the Australian Open, Sofia Kenin, faces one of the eight qualifiers, while the former French Open semi-finalist Amanda Anisimova is the only player to retire as the WTA Women’s Tennis Open is in Abu Dhabi will start on Tuesday.
American Kenin, who fought Garbine Muguruza in three sets last year to win her first major at Melbourne Park, is the top seed in the inaugural edition of this WTA 500 tournament held at Zayed’s International Tennis Center Sports City will be held.
With the three best women – Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep and Naomi Osaka – who skipped this competition, the top seed coat fell to world no. 4 Kenin, while No.. 5 Elina Svitolina will make her second seed debut in the UAE capital against American Jessica Pegula.
Kenin could play another game against Muguruza in the quarter-finals, while Svitolina could face Belgian Elise Mertens at the bottom of the draw in the last eight stages. After that, she may have to face third-placed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic in the last four.
Pliskova will open her tournament against the Romanian Sorana Cirstea, while the fourth Aryna Sabalenka will play against the Slovenian Polona Hercog.
The main draw had to be adjusted a little late on the Monday after the withdrawal due to the illness of Anisimova, the third youngest player who was in the top 100 in the WTA.
The Russian Ekaterina Alexandrova will take the place vacated by Anisimova as the next seeded player and begin her campaign against the Kazakhstan Zarina Diyas. Ulrikke Eikeri will also take part in the draw as the next player to be entitled to move in.
Meanwhile, Canadian teen Leylah Fernandez will be one of the many upcoming stars to be featured in the main draw when she meets Italian Jasmine Paolini. Fernandez, whose most recent win was at the 2020 French Open, where 18-year-old Petra Kvitova planted the seventh seed in her third round, was inducted into the main draw to replace China’s Zheng Saisai, one of the early withdrawals.
2020 runner-up at the Dubai Duty Free Women ‘s Open Elena Rybakina is the sixth seed and starts her campaign against a qualification.
The individual qualification begins on Tuesday at 10 a.m. in the Zayed Sports City tennis center. A total of eight players make it to the main draw after two days of qualification.
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Women’s Tennis Association, Sofia Kenin, Abu Dhabi Open, Garbiñe Muguruza, Karolína Plíšková, Abu Dhabi, Aryna Sabalenka
World News – AU – Abu Dhabi Women’s Tennis Open: Top seed Sofia Kenin has an easy start
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