The Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open, under the supervision of the Professional Women Tennis Association (WTA)) and organized by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council in cooperation with Mubadala, Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi Entertainment Company and Health Point begins from today.
The WTA 500 season opening event has drawn 113 players led by the 2020 Player of the Year Sofia Kenin at the hardcourts of the Abu Dhabi International stadium.
Joining the Australian Open champion are World No.5 Elina Svitolina, No.6 Karolina Pliskova, and No.10 Aryna Sabalenka.
The top seeded Kenin and two-time major champion Garbine Muguruza anchor the top quarter of the draw and could meet in the quarterfinals.
Kenin will open her season against a qualifier in the first round and could face 13th seed Yulia Putintseva in the Round of 16.
Muguruza begins her campaign against Kristina Mladenovic. The first seed she could face is the ninth seed Maria Sakkari. The Greek star could face 16-year-old Coco Gauff in the second round.
The Qualifying play begins on Tuesday with main-draw action commencing on Wednesday.
The competition will be held in accordance with the highest safety and precautionary protocols as international sporting events resume in the UAE capital on the New Year.
HE Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, welcomed all players and the delegation of the Women's Tennis Association.
“We attach great importance to the partnership and cooperation with the WTA, Mubadala, Abu Dhabi Entertainment Company, Zayed Sports City and Health Point for creating a safe environment to stage this event for the first time in Abu Dhabi,” he said.
“The tournament represents an important new addition to Abu Dhabi’s sporting calendar.”
Steve Simon, Chairman and CEO of the WTA, added: “We look forward with great passion to the launch of the Women's Tennis Championship, which marks the opening of the WTA 2021 season.
“The tournament will be held in an environment that puts health and safety at the forefront. We look forward in the stages of our work in order to present a distinctive, safe and strong agenda.