By Britwatch Team

  • Top Seeds: Naomi Osaka, Petra Kvitova, Simona Halep, Karolina Pliskova
  • Defending Champion: Elina Svitolina
  • Britwatch: Qualifying: Eden Silva [QWC]
  • CLICK our featured players for stats from TennisAbstract
DUBAI, UAE – Elina Svitolina looks to three-peat her last two wins here, but new World No. 1 and the reigning US Open & Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka returns to the court.

 

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Tournament Fast Facts

Level WTA Premier 5
Surface Hard (O)
Singles Draw 64
Doubles Draw 32
Prize Money $2,828,000
Tournament Website Facebook
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Top seeds [1] Naomi Osaka

[2] Petra Kvitova

[3] Simona Halep

[4] Karolina Pliskova

[5] Angelique Kerber

[6] Elina Svitolina

[7] Kiki Bertens

[8] Aryna Sabalanka

Top Half [1] Naomi Osaka

[6] Elina Svitolina

[3] Simona Halep

[8] Aryna Sabalanka

Bottom Half [5] Angelique Kerber

[4] Karolina Pliskova

[7] Kiki Bertens

[2] Petra Kvitova

 

 

Draw & Results

Tournament Website
Order of Play
Singles
Doubles
Qualifying

 

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[1] Naomi Osaka

All eyes will be on Osaka, who makes her return to the tour for the first time since winning the Australian Open, but the attention will be more on the reasoning behind the split behind her and former coach Sasha Bajin. The announcement seemed to come out of the blue, after he guided her to two Slam titles and the World No. 1 spot.

It is a challenging return to the court, potentially facing the two-time defending champion Elina Svitolina, last week’s Doha finalist Simona Halep and then a potential Australian Open rematch with Petra Kvitova.

Osaka’s Path to the Final (Ranking/Seeding)

  • R1: BYE
  • R2: Kristina Mladenovic
  • R3: Anett Kontaveit [15]
  • QF: Elina Svitolina [6]
  • SF: Simona Halep [3]
  • F: Petra Kvitova [2]

 

[2] Petra Kvitova

Petra Kvitova in the third round of the Australian Open 2019, Melbourne

Petra Kvitova in the third round of the Australian Open 2019, Melbourne | Jimmie48 Tennis Photography

Kvitova gamely made an appearance in St. Petersburg straight after the Australian Open defeat to Osaka, but jetlag took its toll, and she makes her return after giving Fed Cup a miss this year.

Kvitova is ether pretty evenly matched or has a slim lead over all her opponents until she gets to Osaka, who has the only win, where it counted in Melbourne. It remains to be seen how Osaka stands up to all the post coaching scrutiny.

Kvitova’s Path to the Final (Ranking/Seeding)

  • R1: BYE
  • R2: Petra Martic
  • R3: Caroline Garcia [14]
  • QF: Kiki Bertens [7]
  • SF: Karolina Pliskova [4]
  • F: Naomi Osaka [1]

 

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[3] Simona Halep

It was one hell of a week for Halep, who steered Romania to its first Fed Cup semi-final since the 1970s before making the Doha final, losing to Elise Mertens. Halep started the final looking in supreme form, but really ran out of steam, and it is a fairly quick turnaround in this brief Middle Eastern swing.

The draw favours the gritty Romanian, even accounting for the heavy-weights once she gets to the semi-finals. Even though she lost the Doha final to Mertens, she still has a winning record over the Belgian and ought to be a good prospect for another deep run, if her energy levels allow.

Halep’s Path to the Final (Ranking/Seeding)

  • R1: BYE
  • R2: Vera Lapko
  • R3: Elise Mertens [16]
  • QF: Aryna Sabalenka [8]
  • SF: Naomi Osaka [1]
  • F: Petra Kvitova [2]

 

[4] Karolina Pliskova

Pliskova was at the help of the Czech team’s loss to Romania, against good friend Halep and will be looking for the kind of form that saw her reach the Dubai final in 2015.

It does not start easily for her – she trails Dominika Cibulkova 1-3 in their head to head but was the last winner to stop the rot, last year in Doha. She will need to work her way past Angelique Kerber and Kvitova before having an even shot at Osaka.

Pliskova’s Path to the Final (Ranking/Seeding)

  • R1: BYE
  • R2: Dominika Cibulkova
  • R3: Julia Goerges [13]
  • QF: Angelique Kerber [5]
  • SF: Petra Kvitova [2]
  • F: Naomi Osaka [1]
The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships take place between 17-23 February – (GMT +4 hours).

 

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