x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

February an ideal time to have the tennis in Dubai

What appears to be another bumper crop of top women players with the Dubai Championship on their itinerary reinforces how fortunate UAE tennis fans have been.

What appears to be another bumper crop of top women players with the Dubai Championship on their itinerary reinforces how fortunate UAE tennis fans have been. In short, the world has far more professional tennis tournaments than the sport's top players can play.

It helps, of course, that Dubai is one of the "premier" events on the WTA schedule and offers a purse of US$2.05 million (Dh7.5m) which is bettered at only nine event, and four of those are the slam events.

Dubai also is known for grand hotels and upscale shopping, seemingly a competitive sport among the tennis crowd. Tourist attractions such as the Burj Khalifa certainly heighten Dubai's appeal, as does mild weather when much of the northern hemisphere is still frozen.

But it also is to Dubai's advantage that its tournaments come in February, shortly after the ever-shrinking winter break, before the players have put in months on the road, when they are as rested and as fit as they are likely to be, and before the toll of the long season begins to thin the ranks of top players.

For every Vera Zvonareva, who seems to be everywhere, the world game has several Kim Clijsters, carefully plotting how they can prepare themselves for the slam events before too many matches begins to wear them down.

It is a delicate calculus, and organisers often are helpless to influence it. Perhaps their greatest ally is a spot early on the season schedule.