Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
Dubai, UAE – February 13 2022: Paula Badosa might never have played at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships before, but the world number five will feel quite at home as she this week competes for her second title of the season.
“I really like Dubai. I have an apartment here as well,” she said on the eve of the tournament, where she will play a qualifier in the first round and possibly two-time champion Simona Halep in the second. “I came a week ago already. I try to spend time with my family. I never can. When I can, here it was easy to have them, so, yeah, I’ve been a few days with them and enjoying.
“I want to do well here. I like Dubai. It’s like my second home. Of course I’m very happy and I’m very excited to be here and to see new fans because I have never played here in Dubai. I really like it. It’s a very nice place to be. It’s an amazing city, has a lot of good energy. The weather, it’s amazing. People are very friendly, very nice. I feel very comfortable being here. Everything is very easy, facilities. You have beach. You have city. That’s perfect to me.”
Just one year ago Badosa was ranked in the 70s, but her career really began to take off in April when she defeated both former Dubai champion Belinda Bencic and world number one Ashleigh Barty to reach the Charleston semi-finals. Within a month and in Madrid she beat Bencic again as well as 2021 Dubai finalist Barbora Krejcikova, but this time she lost to Barty in the semi-finals.
Two weeks later in Belgrade she won her first title and a run to the French Open quarter-finals soon followed. She defeated world number three Aryna Sabalenka in Cincinnati, then victory over former world number one Victoria Azarenka at Indian Wells gave her a second title of the year and a place in the world’s top 10, and she closed out her season by reaching the semis of the WTA Finals.
Watch: Svitolina, Halep at the Women’s Draw – 2022 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships
“We are delighted to welcome Paula Badosa to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free. “Not only did she enjoy a magnificent 2021 season, but she has continued to flourish this year too by recently claiming the title in Sydney. We very much look forward to seeing her play here for the first time and wish her well.”
“Paula Badosa will be bidding to become only the second Spaniard to win the WTA event here, after Garbine Muguruza in 2021,” said Tournament Director Salah Tahlak. “Her success over the past year has established her as a very strong contender for the title this week and it will be interesting to see how she fares against so many other members of the top 10.”
The two-week tennis extravaganza begins with the WTA event which takes place between 14th and 19th February, with play beginning at 12.30 on Monday and Tuesday and then from 2pm on Wednesday to Friday. Evening sessions throughout the week begin at 7pm, with the Doubles Final taking place at 5pm on Saturday followed by the Singles Final not before 7pm. For ticket information, visit www.dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com/tickets/
The tournament then continues between 21st and 26th February with the 30th anniversary of the ATP Tour 500 tournament when world number one Novak Djokovic will be bidding for his sixth Dubai title.
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.