The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships 2017 will commence today 19th February at The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Center. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the tournament.
The 2017 WTA draw took place at The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Center ‘Majlis’ yesterday (18/02/2017). Tournament players Elina Svitolina, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Elena Vesnina and Roberta Vinci who celebrated her 34th birthday on the day were present at the draw.
Colm McLoughlin Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free (DDF) was the first to take the mic at the event. He spoke of the humble beginnings of DDF’s operation back in 1983 and the 1.85 billion USD company with 5900 staff it has become today. He thanked the sponsors and members of media for their support and spoke of the great relationship between DDF and the two tennis bodies WTA & ATP. McLoughlin added that last year both tournaments had a value of 830 million USD in terms of value for the media.
Elina Svitolina a semi finalist at Dubai 2016 said she is really looking forward to pushing herself as much as she can and hopefully break into the Women’s top 10 this year.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova who has previously been a semi finalist in all four majors said that usually she starts the year slow and catches up to win matches towards the end of the season. She is looking to break the paradigm this year.
Elena Vesnina who is the current Olympic Champion, has a career-high ranking of world No. 16 in singles, world No. 3 in doubles and has previously been a doubles finalist here in Dubai talked about how much she loves Dubai and has great respect for the tournament which has had an array of champions as winners.
The birthday girl Roberta Vinci was asked how it felt when she ended Serena Williams’s dream of a calendar grand slam with a shock 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory at the US Open Final she simply replied: ‘It was the greatest moment of my life’.
The Turkish ‘Wild Card’ Çağla Büyükakçay will play later on today on court 3 against her Swiss opponent Viktorija Golubic, followed by her doubles match with her parther Natali Vikhlyantseva vs. Many Minella and Anastasiji Sevastova. Büyükakçay was the ‘Wild Card’ at DFF in 2015 where she managed to reach the 2nd round before having to exit the tournament.
The WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships will take place between 19-25 February. Tickets can be purchased fromwww.dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com/en/tickets Games are live on Dubai Sports.
Reporter: Alp Sarper
Photography: Gaye Akar
Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships 2017