Two-time Wimbledon champion and 2013 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title holder Petra Kvitova will head to Dubai in just under two weeks in winning form, after capturing her 21st career title in St. Petersburg on Sunday.
The title is her first since Birmingham in June 2017, and with it she moves into fifth place amongst active players in the numbers of titles won.
Kvitova registered wins over Elena Vesnina, world number six Jelena Ostapenko and Julia Goerges on the way to the finals, before posting an emphatic win over Kristina Mladenovic, 6-1 6-2.
Last year the former world number two had to withdraw from Dubai after surviving an attack in December 2016 that threatened her career when she sustained several deep cuts to her playing left hand.
She finally made her comeback at the French Open in May of last year, and after losing in the second round there, she surprised and delighted everyone by winning the Birmingham title in just her second tournament back.
Although she has not found the going easy, she beat Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza on her way to the quarter-finals of the US Open before losing in a third set tiebreak to Venus Williams.
The St Petersburg title is the second since her comeback, and the convincing win in the finals will give her confidence a boost as she heads back to Dubai and attempts to add her second Dubai title to her trophy cabinet.
“We are delighted to welcome one of our former champions back to Dubai,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free. “It is wonderful to see Petra Kvitova making such a strong comeback, and we wish her every success.”
Tournament Director Salah Tahlak added: “Petra Kvitova has demonstrated that she is a real champion off the court as well as on, and we are relieved that she has managed to make such a strong return to the game and that she is well on her way to re-claiming her rightful position at the top. We very much look forward to seeing her compete here again.”
Kvitova is part of a world-class field that includes four former world number ones.
She will face strong competition as she joins Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza, five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova, defending Dubai champion and recent Brisbane winner Elina Svitolina, 2018 Sydney champion and Australian Open semi-finalist Angelique Kerber, 2017 US Open runner-up Madison Keys, 2016 US Open finalist and former world number one Karolina Pliskova, 2018 St. Petersburg runner-up Kristina Mladenovic and Australian number one and 2018 Sydney finalist Ashleigh Barty.
It’s almost TENNIS time here in #Dubai ! Head to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships to witness the world’s best! For tickets: https://t.co/ru1OHmfZGa #DDFTennis #AdvantageDubai pic.twitter.com/54hIZntmRC
— Dubai Tennis Champs (@DDFTennis) February 3, 2018
Two weeks of spectacular entertainment begins with the WTA event which takes place February 19-24, with the tournament continuing between February 26 and March 3, with the 26th staging of the ATP World Tour event which includes ATP World Tour Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov.
The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is owned and organised by Dubai Duty Free, and held under the patronage of H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Grandstand ticket prices for the WTA event start at AED55 for opening rounds to AED735 for the ATP finals, with daily Prime A and Prime B tickets and season tickets also available. (All inclusive of VAT).
Tickets are on sale online, and from the Box Office, which is open 9am-9pm daily. For ticket sales go to http://www.dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com/en/tickets. For further information about the tournament visit www.dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com.
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.
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.
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.
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