Garbine Muguruza hoping for return to winning ways at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

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Garbine Muguruza is hoping for a return to winning ways in Dubai.

Wimbledon champion and former world No. 1 Garbine Muguruza will be hungry for success when she begins her bid for the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships trophy next week.

The Spaniard enjoyed an impressive 2017, winning at the All England Club to add a second Grand Slam crown to the one she earned in Paris a year earlier. By beating Serena Williams to win the 2016 French Open and then Venus to win Wimbledon, she became the first player to defeat both Williams’ sisters in Grand Slam singles finals.

Last season she also won the Cincinnati title with victory over then-world No. 1 Karolina Pliskova in the semis and No. 2 Simona Halep in the final, and after the US Open she claimed the No. 1 ranking herself.

Her trip to Australia this year was not as successful, however, as she was hampered by an abductor muscle injury in Brisbane and Sydney and blisters at the Australian Open. But after a period back in Europe to rest and recover, she is ready to get back to winning ways. And despite her occasional setbacks, Muguruza loves life as a tennis professional.

“The best part is the travel, going to incredible places and playing in front of thousands of people in big arenas,” she said. “It’s a healthy life to be a professional athlete. I like to be in these situations and maybe it’s strange, but I like to be out on the edge where you’re nervous, excited, even a little bit afraid.

“I want to keep playing big finals, and fighting again for the number one spot. There’s nothing to be afraid of and nothing to hide from. I want to have the toughest goals because I’ve been there and that helps me believe I can be there again.”

As well as her two titles last year Muguruza reached five semi-finals as well as four quarter-finals, and she will be one of the toughest players to beat when play gets underway next week.

The challengers in Dubai include five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova, double Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber, two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova, and this year’s Australian Open runner-up Simona Halep,  as well as Karolina Pliskova, Elina Svitolina, Madison Keys, Kristina Mladenovic, and Ashleigh Barty.

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Simona Halep to headline stellar field at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship

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World No2 Simona Halep will return to the UAE to headline a stellar line-up at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

The Romanian, who won the Dubai title in 2015, was voted by fans as the WTA Player of the Month for January as she battled her way to the Australian Open final.

Joining Halep will be Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza, five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, defending Dubai champion Elina Svitolina, Angelique Kerber, Madison Keys, Karolina Pliskova, Kristina Mladenovic and Ashleigh Barty.

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

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Petra Kvitova to make welcome return to Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

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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.

In-form: Kvitova.

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.

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.

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