The 2011 Dubai Open is a WTA Premier 5 category tournament played on blue DecoTurf II hard courts from February 12-20. The 11th year of this event is being played at the Aviation Club Tennis Centre in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The official tournament name is the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships due to title sponsorship naming rights.
The Dubai Open is the second MAJOR WTA tournament of the year and one of only 5 Premier FIVE events, which makes it one of the “BIG 14” each year. The winner of Dubai is equivalent to making the semi finals of a Grand Slam singles event in terms of WTA ranking points. Both achievements earn 900 points, which is more than one quarter of the points you need to finish the year ranked in the Top 10.
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The women’s event begins on Saturday February 12 with the qualifying singles draw and the Women’s Singles Final will be played on Sunday February 20 at 7pm. The total prize money for the 2011 Dubai tournament is $2,050,000 US dollars. The centre court has a seating capacity of 5,000 and is called the Dubai Tennis Stadium.
The 2010 Dubai Women’s singles champion was Venus Williams who defeated Victoria Azarenka 6-3 7-5 to defend her title. The 21-year-old Azarenka from Belarus is pictured above just after making contact with the ball during her service motion at the 2011 Australian Open.
The 1.8m Azarenka will be looking to reach new heights in 2011 after winning 5 WTA singles titles in the past 2 years. Her best Grand Slam singles result to date was making it to the quarter finals on 3 occasions, at the 2010 Australian Open, Roland Garros and Wimbledon both in 2009. Her current ranking is No.9 and her career-high ranking to date is, which she first achieved No.6 on 26 October 2009.
Please note that the tournament management can alter the schedule from day to day.
The WTA ranking points and prize money for the women’s tournament is awarded to the players like this:
- The winner earns 900 points + $360,000;
- The runner-up earns 620 points + $180,000;
- The two semi finalists earn 395 + $90,000;
- The four quarter finalists earn 225 + $41,450,
- The 8 players who lose in the round of 16 earn 125 + $20,550;
- The 16 players who lose in the 2nd round earn 70 + $10,575;
- The *24 players who lose in the 1st round earn 1 point + $5,500.
There is a 32-player qualifying draw. The players who lose in the 1st round of the qualifying event earn $1,550 and 1 ranking point. The players who lose in the 2nd round of qualifying earn $3,000 and 20 ranking points.
*The players who qualify for the main draw and then lose the 1st round earn 30 points, whereas players, who start in the 1st round and lose their 1st match, earn just the one point. Wild Card entrants who lose in the 1st round also receive just the one point.
From the 2nd round onwards any qualifiers who win, earn the points allocated by round PLUS their 30 points for qualifying. Therefore a qualifier who wins the 1st round of the main draw and then gets knocked out in the 2nd round earns 70 points for making the 2nd round plus 30 points for qualifying. Thus, a qualifier who loses in the 2nd round earns 100 ranking points in total.
The schedule of play for the 2011 Dubai Open Women’s Singles event is:
- Saturday 12 February: Qualifying Draw 1st round from 10:30am;
- Sunday 13 February: Qualifying 2nd & final round from 10:30am;
- Monday 14 February: Main Draw 1st round from 12noon and 7pm;
- Tuesday 15 February: 1st round from 12noon and 7pm;
- Wednesday 16 February: 2nd round from 12noon and 7pm;
- Thursday 17 February: Round of 16 from 12noon and 7pm;
- Friday 18 February: Quarter Finals from 2pm;
- Saturday 19 February: Semi Finals from 2pm; and
- Sunday 20 February: Women’s Singles Final at 7pm.
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photo credit: n.hewson