DUBAI — Dubai Duty Free (DDF), the title sponsor of the annual DDF Tennis Championships, announced here Monday that world number one Andy Murray will participate in the tournament, while seven-time Dubai champion Roger Federer will return after the Swiss ace abstained last year.
The women’s line-up will be led by world number one and winner of two grand slams in 2016, 28-year-old Angelique Kerber from Germany. The female line-up includes 2012 Dubai champion and world number three Agnieszka Radwanska, along with 2015 Dubai champion and world number four Simona Halep.
Also in the men’s line-up of top 10 players will be Dubai defending champion, winner of three grand slams and world number four Stan (“Stan the Man”) Wawrinka, and two-time Dubai finalist Tomas Berdych.
Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free, the tournament owners and organizers, said, “We are looking forward to some thrilling matches and some great entertainment as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the tournament.”
Four Chinese player ladies, Zhang Shuai (ranked WTA 23), Wang Qiang, Peng Shuai and Zheng Saisai. Zheng’s winning streak in the first rounds last year was halted by Italian player and 2016 DDF Tennis Champion Sarah Errani who according to the entry list will not participate this year.
The 25th DDF Tennis Championships run from Feb. 19 until March 4. The first week of the challenge is marked by the women’s competition, and the men’s challenge follows from Feb. 27 onward.
Last year’s tournament triggered a streak of disappointments and some empty rows in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium in Dubai-Garhoud, as Federer missed the challenge after undergoing knee surgery and because Novak Djokovic suffered from an eye infection, forcing the Serb to retire in the semi-finals. PNA/Xinhua-northboundasia.com