Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai

February 18- March 2, 2024
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
February 18- March 2, 2024
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
February 18, 2024

Top seeds Swiatek, Sabalenka gunning for glory at 2024 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

In-form No1 seed Iga Swiatek comes into the tournament fresh from victory in Doha aiming to claim a maiden Dubai title this week
Back-to-back Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka, seeded second, headlines elite field containing 14 of world’s top 20 female players
Tickets for the annual two-week Championships are available online now at dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com with prices starting from Dh55

Dubai, UAE—February 18, 2024: Fresh from claiming a historic third successive title at last week’s WTA Tour event in Doha, world No. 1 Iga Swiatek is optimistic she can carry her dominant form into this week’s Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

A beaten finalist in Dubai 12 months ago, the Pole recovered from a chastening straight sets defeat to Barbora Krejčíková by ending the season with a Tour-leading six titles. One year on, she returns to the emirate as the No1 seed at this week’s WTA 1000 event which runs until February 24 at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium.

Iga Swiatek speaks at a media roundtable ahead of the 2024 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

The all-conquering WTA Player of Year in 2022 and 2023 will open her quest for a maiden Dubai title against world No. 39 Sloane Stephens—the 2017 US Open champion—on Tuesday, after the American edged out plucky French qualifier Clara Burel, 6-4, 1-6, 6-2, on Sunday evening.

Unsurprisingly, Swiatek’s pre-tournament objective is ultimate victory: “If you want to win a tournament, you have to win against the best in the world anyway,” said the 22-year-old, who has amassed 18 career titles, including a hat-trick of French Open triumphs, and a solitary US Open win in 2022.

“You have to be ready. There’s been no preparation because I literally just arrived, but I have the experience from last year, playing one practice, then going to the match. I’m not worried about that. It’s a different year, I feel differently. A lot has happened since [last year]. It’s a different tournament,” added Swiatek.

Fronting Swiatek’s pool of would-be challengers is two-time Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka, who reached the semi-finals in all four Grand Slams last year. With the world’s top two players at opposite ends of the Dubai draw, Sabalenka believes the top WTA players are becoming more consistent.

“I’m happy to see the top players constantly at the top and winning titles. I think that’s something women’s tennis was missing,” said Sabalenka, whose views on the WTA’s increasingly competitive playing field are supported by statistics from the 2023 season, which show the No1 and No2 seeds met in only four tournament finals.

Aryna Sabalenka signs tennis balls as part of media day at the 2024 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

However, with the top two seeds having met in four WTA event finals already this year, the last time the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds met in tournament finals more than four times in a season was in 2013. If the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships draw goes to plan, a 10th career showdown between Swiatek and Sabalenka in this year’s final would end that decade-long stat, a mere two months into 2024.

Watch: Aryna Sabalenka’s shopping spree at Dubai Duty Free

“You’re at the top and you’re competing with the top players now,” added Sabalenka. “It’s not like another top player is going to fall out of the tournament early and give you a better chance. It’s amazing to have for our game.”

The 24th edition of Dubai’s annual WTA event takes place one week before the men’s event at the same venue. The women’s competition will run until February 24, before the 32nd staging of the ATP Tour 500 tournament from February 26 to March 2.

The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is owned and organised by Dubai Duty Free and held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Tickets for both the women’s WTA tournament and the men’s ATP event remain available to purchase at www.dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com/tickets.

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