Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova is eagerly looking forward to returning to the tournament that last year not only inspired the run to her first Grand Slam title but a dramatic rise in the rankings that now sees her placed close to the summit of the world’s top 10.
After ending the 2020 season with a ranking of 65, in 2021 she advanced all the way to the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships where she fell in an entertaining match against Garbine Muguruza.
Encouraged by that performance, she went from strength to strength throughout the season, first claiming her maiden WTA Tour title in Strasbourg and then a remarkable victory at Roland Garros where, unseeded, she defeated former two-time Dubai winner Elina Svitolina in the third round and saved a match point against Maria Sakkari in the semi-finals before edging past Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in three sets to claim the trophy.
“The thing that I’m most proud of is the mental part, I would say, because for me this was really tough,” she said after becoming only the third woman in the Open Era to win Roland Garros after facing match point en route. “I always wanted to do this and trust me, you didn’t want to see me before the matches. You don’t want to see what I was actually doing, how I was panicking before every single match.
“But then as soon as I stepped on the court, I was just there and I was ready to fight. I wasn’t really thinking that I have a panic or that I’m scared or that I’m stressed or something. That’s really special for me. That was something that I felt that I really have to work on because I didn’t really have this in myself. I think that’s why I actually won, because I just felt that mentally I was able to really handle every situation that I got during these two weeks. That was the biggest key.”
The French Open wasn’t the end of her title-winning spree, as she soon added a third trophy in Prague, not dropping a set in her five matches. She then went on to gain revenge for her Dubai defeat by beating Garbine Muguruza in Cincinnati, and then again to reach the US Open quarter-finals. And she has carried her fine form into the 2022 season, reaching the Sydney final and the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.
“We are proud that the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships has played such an important role in the career of Barbora Krejcikova, and it is with great pleasure that after her breakthrough week here last year we have seen her go on to even greater success,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free. “We look forward to seeing if she can now add the Dubai title to her growing list of achievements and wish her well.”
Her success in singles, though, will not have come as a surprise to many, as Krejcikova had already established herself as one of the best doubles players in the world. As long ago as 2013 she won the French Open, Wimbledon and US Open junior titles with fellow Czech Katerina Siniakova. The pair added the French Open title to their resume in 2018 and again in 2021, Wimbledon in 2018 and, last month, the 2022 Australian Open title. Krejcikova even has three Australian Open mixed doubles too.
“It is remarkable that Barbora Krejcikova has managed to reach not only three in the world in singles but to now be ranked two in doubles,” said Tournament Director Salah Tahlak. “Very few players manage to excel in both sides of the sport, and after reaching the Dubai doubles final in 2020 as well as the singles final in 2021 it will be fascinating to see if she can this year become the first woman to win both titles.”
Tickets for the tennis extravaganza are now on sale at www.dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com. Prices start at AED 55, and tickets will also be available at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium Box Office from 8th February. Restrictions will apply, with capacity limited to 80% in the stadium.
The tournament begins with the WTA event, which includes five Dubai champions and 17 of the top 20 and takes place between 14th and 19th February, and then continues between 21st and 26th February with the 30th anniversary staging of the ATP Tour 500 tournament which features world number one Novak Djokovic and defending champion Aslan Karatsev.
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.