x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Cream of the crop of tennis to descend on Dubai

Six of the eight singles semi-finalists had already confirmed their place in the women's and men's events at the Aviation Club.

Organisers of the Dubai Tennis Championships cannot have been disappointed by the events in Melbourne last week. Six of the eight singles semi-finalists had already confirmed their place in the women's and men's events at the Aviation Club.

Caroline Wozniacki, Vera Zvonareva and Li Na, the last a finalist at the Australian Open, will play in the women's tournament, commencing on February 14.

Novak Djokovic, the Australian champion, as well as the runner-up Andy Murray and the semi-finalist Roger Federer have committed to play in the men's tournament, which begins a week later, on February 21.

Even before the men's final was played, Colm McLoughlin, the managing director of the sponsors Dubai Duty Free, issued a release suggesting "Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray are both great champions who have already made a lasting impression" in previous tournaments in Dubai.

Djokovic, now the Australian Open champion, has won in Dubai for the past two years, and McLoughlin cited the then unheralded Murray's first-round defeat of Federer in the 2008 event as "one of the biggest upsets in the history of the tournament".

With both Venus and Serena Williams dropping in the latest rankings, the Dubai women's tournament boasts nine of the world's top 11 players: Wozniacki, Zvonareva, Francesca Schiavone, Samantha Stosur, Li, Jelena Jankovic, Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska and Shahar Peer.