Maria Sharapova looks set to compete at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

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Maria Sharapova looks set to compete at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships for the first time since 2006, according to the schedule on her official website.

The ex-world No. 1 has accepted a wildcard into the Qatar Open, staged in the week prior to Dubai, and is likely to have received an invitation from the UAE event as well.

The Dubai tournament is yet to confirm Sharapova’s wildcard.

Sharapova, currently ranked 41 in the world, has made just one previous appearance in Dubai back in 2006, where she lost in the final to Justine Henin.

Sharapova during the 2006 Dubai final.

The Russian is still on the comeback trail following her 15-month suspension for a doping violation. She returned from her ban in April last year.

Sharapova’s 2018 season so far has seen her reach the semi-finals in Shenzhen, where she lost to Katerina Siniakova, and the third round at the Australian Open, where she fell to Angelique Kerber.

The five-time Grand Slam champion was in the UAE as recently as last November, where she visited Abu Dhabi for a sponsor appearance at the Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit.

The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships women’s event takes place from February 19 – 24.

Other players confirmed for the tournament include Elina Svitolina, Garbine Muguruza and Madison Keys.

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Elina Svitolina and Garbine Muguruza headline Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships field, ticket information announced

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Elina Svitolina will return to defend her title at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships next month, the tournament confirmed on Monday.

The Ukrainian world No. 4, who defeated Caroline Wozniacki in last year’s final to lift the first Premier title of her career, headlines a strong field that also includes reigning Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza, two-time Grand Slam winner and ex-world No. 1 Angelique Kerber, 2013 Dubai champion and two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova and Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska, the winner of the 2012 title in Dubai.

Last year’s US Open runner-up Madison Keys will be making her Dubai debut while former finalist and ex-world No. 1 Karolina Pliskova and French power player Caroline Garcia are also on the entry list.

In-form players Julia Goerges (2012 Dubai runner-up) and young Aussie talent Ashleigh Barty will also be participating.

Muguruza, a former semi-finalist in Dubai, is set to return to the emirate this February.

The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships women’s event will take place from February 19 – 24 with the men’s event staged from February 26 – March 3.

Tickets for both events will go on sale online on Thursday 18 January through the tournament website, with the Stadium Box Office opening on Thursday 25 January.

Colm McLoughlin, executive vice chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free said: “This year we are opening ticket sales online in advance of the box office to ensure that all fans have an equal chance to purchase tickets to see the world’s top players in action.

“The women’s entry list is now finalised and we are looking forward to sharing the ATP list in the coming days. We are delighted to announce another impressive women’s line-up, headed by Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza and our defending champion Elina Svitolina, which also includes several of our previous champions and finalists.”

Grandstand ticket prices for the WTA event start at Dh55 for opening rounds to Dh735 for the ATP finals, with daily Prime A and Prime B tickets and season tickets also available (all inclusive of VAT). Tickets will be available online at http://www.dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com/en/tickets

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WATCH: Berdych takes on Sport360's Arabic Test

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Ahead of his latest appearance at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, the two-time runner-up was put through his paces by our tennis guru Reem Abulleil.

The World No14 may have got out of the blocks slow but began to pick up more and more phrases towards the end of our by now classic test.

How do you rate Tomas' Arabic? Let us know!

Share with us your thoughts by commenting below, using #360fans on Twitter or getting in touch via Facebook.








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