Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
From left to right: Ramesh Cidambi, Dubai Duty Free Chief Operating Officer, Colm McLoughlin, Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman and CEO, Steve Simon, WTA Chairman & CEO, Salah Tahlak, Tournament Director and Sinead El Sibai, Dubai Duty Free Senior Vice-President Marketing
In a break between the world class tennis on Monday night, the WTA and Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the event.
An on-court presentation following Garbine Muguruza’s enthralling victory over Kim Clijsters witnessed the WTA receiving a replica of the stunning ‘Coffee Pot’ trophy.
Muguruza, a recent Australian Open finalist, joined WTA Chairman & CEO Steve Simon and Tournament Director Salah Tahlak to cut the cake to mark the special occasion on Centre Court.
The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships opened its doors to the WTA Tour in 2001 with almost every top player in the world performing inside one of the most magnificent stadiums in the world.
From that first exciting year, the tournament has always attracted the very best and it was fitting that the first champion would be the world number one, Martina Hingis. The inaugural event was named as the Best Tournament of the Year by the WTA, and it later went on to win the Best Premier 5 Event in 2015, an honour that was repeated in 2019.
The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships also made history and became a trailblazer for women’s tennis when in 2005 it made the decision to offer equal prize money to both women and men, becoming only the third professional tennis event after the US Open and Australian Opens and the first outside of the Grand Slams to do so.
“We were one of the first tournaments to introduce equal prize money for the WTA players back in 2005 and we have remained committed to such equality,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman & CEO, Dubai Duty Free. “We have been delighted to do so, not only because we believe it is the right thing to do but it is in recognition of the growth and popularity of women’s tennis around the world. We eagerly look forward to seeing what the future years have in store.”