The qualifying draw has been announced today, and the first matches will start tomorrow on the hard court of the Aviation Club Tennis Center in Dubai. After defending champion Simona Halep announced the postponement of her surgery in order to defend the title, many withdrawals have affected the tournament, including recent Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber and last year’s Dubai semifinalist Caroline Wozniacki.
Kerber, Bacsinszky and Wozniacki out, Giorgi, Gavrilova and Vandeweghe in
Camila Giorgi, Daria Gavrilova and CoCo Vandeweghe are the selected players to enter the main draw after the recent forfeits.
For both Giorgi and Vandeweghe, it will be the second main draw appearance, the first one been in 2015. The American, who has collected three straight first round losses in 2016 so far, lost in first round to Elina Svitolina, while the Italian reached the second round, where she surrendered to Carla Suarez Navarro. Gavrilova will make her first appearance in the tournament; she played qualifications in 2013, but lost in the second round to Svetlana Kuznetsova.
The three players will compete after the most recent forfeits of Angelique Kerber, Timea Bacsinszky and Caroline Wozniacki, which will be added to the previous withdrawal of Irina-Camelia Begu - who out for a knee injury, Lucie Safarova, who is set to return in Doha, Agnieszka Radwanska, Alizé Cornet and Peng Shuai.
Halep, Pliskova and Kvitova receive a wildcard, Serena returns to the tournament
The main draw competition will start on February 15, and will be featuring 11 of the world’s top 20. Last year’s champion and runner-up Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova, as well as 2013 champion Petra Kvitova, received a wild card for the main draw.
Despite the large number of withdrawals, this year’s tournament will be counting of the presence of world number one Serena Williams, who will return to the tournament and try to win her first title of the year, and her first title in Dubai, at the Aviation Club Tennis Center.