Dubai 2010 Women’s Major Tournament

The 2nd Major Tournament on the WTA Tour in 2010 is the Dubai Open. This year Dubai is called the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships. Dubai is one of the most important tournaments on the WTA Tour because it is one of only 5 Premier FIVE events.

To put it into perspective in terms of the world famous Grand Slam tournaments, the winner of Dubai is equivalent to making the semi finals of a Grand Slam singles event. For both achievements you would earn 900 WTA ranking points. Furthermore, to finish the year ranked in the Top 10, 900 points is more than one quarter of the total points that you would need.

Dubai has 2 million U.S. dollars up for grabs and is held from Friday February 12 through to the final on Saturday February 20 at the Aviation Club Tennis Centre in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

This year for the very first time in Dubai all 10 of the Top 10 women entered to compete for the Dubai Tennis Championships. Subsequently, Serena Williams and Dinara Safina had to withdraw with injury. This creates a great opportunity for World No.3 Caroline Wozniacki (pictured above), to achieve the World No.2 ranking for the very first time. Wozniacki will move to No.2 if she can make the final in Dubai. A 20-year-old ranked No.2 would be another big plus for the future of women’s tennis.

The 2010 edition of the Women’s Dubai Tennis Championships is the 10-year anniversary for Dubai on the WTA Tour. Dubai commenced in 2001 and has really forged ahead ever since.

Dubai Duty Free made a landmark decision in 2005 to offer an unprecedented equal prize money for the women with a $1 million total for both the men and women. Dubai paved the way for the top tournaments like Wimbledon to follow and offer equal prize money.

Last year was the first time that Dubai was graded as a Premier FIVE tournament. Venus Williams won Dubai in 2009 by defeating Virginie Razzano of France 6-4 6-2 in the final. The American won 800 WTA ranking points for that victory whilst Razzano won 550 WTA ranking points as the runner-up.

Venus beat Serena Williams whilst Razzano defeated Kaia Kanepi in the 2009 semi-finals. The 2009 quarter finalists were Elena Dementieva, Vera Zvonareva, Elena Vesnina and Ana Ivanovic.

The Honour Roll of Past Champions at Dubai is very impressive with Martina Hingis winning the inaugural event in 2001, Amelie Mauresmo in 2002, Lindsay Davenport in 2005 Elena Dementieva in 2008 and Venus Williams in 2009. Venus Williams will be aiming to join Justine Henin as the only multiple champion. Henin has won 4 Dubai titles: 2003-04 & 2006-07.

This year instead of a 64 player draw Dubai has 56 players in the singles main draw. Dubai is played on blue Deco-Turf II hard courts. There are 16 seeded players yet only the top 8 seeds have a BYE in the 1st round. Therefore 48 players play in the 1st round with the 24 winners joining the Top 8 seeds in the round of 32.

The WTA rankings as of February 1, 2010 were used to determine the seeding of players and who would be accepted into the qualifying & main draws. There were 44 direct acceptances with the cut-off being World No.59 Tathiana Garbin of Italy. The cut-off is the ranking of the last player (lowest ranked player), who is directly accepted into the main draw.

There were 4 main draw wild cards awarded, two of which were given to players who are ranked high enough to be directly accepted into this event but only decided to play after the entry deadline. These 2 players were No.10 seed Flavia Pennetta of Italy and World No.37 Maria Kirilenko of Russia. The final 2 wild cards were given to World No.69 Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland and World No. 277 Selima Sfar of Tunisia.

The cut-off for the qualifying draw was World No.156 Camille Pin of France. There were 32 players in the qualifying draw which meant that you needed to win 2 matches in a row to qualify.

The players who lost in the 1st round of qualifying won $1,500 US dollars whereas the players who lost in the 2nd round or “Qualifying Round” won $2,900 US dollars. The name “Qualifying Round” comes from the fact that the players who win that round qualify for the main draw.

The 8 players who won through to qualify for the main draw in Dubai were; Ekaterina Makarova, Vesna Manasieva, Anna-Lena Groenefeld, Chan Yung-Jan, Regina Kulikova, Anastasija Sevastova, Kirsten Flipkens and Alicia Molik.

This year there was also one spot in the draw for a Lucky Loser. This spot was awarded to a Lucky Loser because direct acceptance Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic had to withdraw due to flight problems. Alberta Brianti of Italy was awarded the Lucky Loser spot because she was the highest seeded player remaining who lost in the “Qualifying Round”.

Stay tuned to this tennis website for further information and results at the Dubai Open including the schedule of play, results for the entire tournament, the seeding, the draw, the prize money and how the ranking points are allocated. Click this link for more details -> Dubai 2010 Women: Feb 12-20.

© 2010

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