Action in the tournament commences one day earlier this year, with the first day’s play on February 19. The WTA Tournament this year has Premier 5 status, and as such the draw has been expanded from 32 to 64 players, meaning even more of the world’s best will be hitting the courts.
Salah Tahlak, Tournament Director, said: “The women’s field this year is spectacular and with tickets for the first three days only Dh75, tennis fans in Dubai are in for a real treat. In addition, entry to the outside courts is free so everyone has the opportunity to see world class players in action.”
Tennis fans are expected again to flock to the stadium to witness the spectacular matches, as well as enjoying the packed social programme which will see Dubai celebrate the 25th anniversary of the men’s competition in style.
As always, the Tennis Village will be buzzing all fortnight with entertainment, music, autograph signings, the big screens showing the action live and a host of other events and activities including Kids’ Days, Ladies’ Night, and plenty of competitions for fans to win those sought after finals tickets.
The tournament will again host the very popular Ladies’ Day on February 21. Ladies are invited to come dressed to impress on Ladies’ Day and enter the fashion parade at 6pm to win great prizes including finals tickets and an invitation to the exclusive Players’ Party where they can meet their tennis stars.
This year also sees a new exciting competition where fans who take a ‘selfie’ with the ATP 25th anniversary player cutout in the Tennis Village on quarter-finals day and post it via Instagram, twitter or Facebook could win the chance to meet the quarter-finals winner and walk back to the Players’ Lounge with them after the match.
Fans can also win coveted finals tickets in the #DDFSelfie competition. Spectators who take a ‘selfie’ showing their wristband on the first four days of WTA week and the first three days of ATP week, post it on the tournament’s Instagram or Twitter pages, could be off to the finals! Fans are encouraged to check the tournament website and Facebook page for all the details on ticket competitions to be among the lucky winners.
Colm McLoughlin, executive vice-chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free, said: “We are looking forward to another exciting tournament this year as we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the men’s tennis tournament that began in 1993.
“With just a couple of days to go until the start of the WTA week we are all set for an even bigger and better schedule of activities in the village for all to enjoy. The number of opportunities to interact with the players means that everyone will have the chance to meet some of their favourite stars and we are delighted to be welcoming the top players back again, and with so much happening in the village over the fortnight the atmosphere this year will be wonderful.”
Other competitions to win finals tickets are running on ARN radio, and during the tournament spectators in the grandstand can play ‘Catch and Win’ as tennis balls are hit into the crowd before the evening matches. Every ball caught can be redeemed at the Dubai Duty Free Stand for great prizes from the sponsors, and one lucky person who catches the silver ball will enjoy hospitality in the VIP section for the evening.
There will also be opportunities for fans to see and get autographs from their favourite players on Sunday (February 19) at 11am and the following day, February 20, at 10.30am and the following Monday, February 27 at 1pm at the Dubai Duty Free Shop in the Tennis Village. And in one of the features, the players will walk through the village each day on their way to and from the courts, giving fans a chance for a photograph or autograph with their tennis idols.
Play in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships begins with the WTA event, which takes place between Ferbuary 19 and 25. Among those also bidding for the title will be US Open champion and world number two Angelique Kerber, 2017 Brisbane champion Karolina Pliskova, WTA Finals winner Dominika Cibulkova, world number six and former Dubai champion Agnieszka Radwanska, French Open champion Garbine Muguruza, and recent Sydney winner Johanna Konta.
Play will then continue from February 27 with the men’s tournament featuring world number one Andy Murray, Australian Open champion and seven-time Dubai winner Roger Federer, Dubai defending champion, winner of three Grand Slams and world number three Stan Wawrinka; two-time Dubai finalist Tomas Berdych, and the entertaining world number nine, Gael Monfils.
The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is owned and organised by Dubai Duty Free, and held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Tickets for every day of the event including the finals are still available from the Box Office at the Dubai Tennis Stadium, Al Garhoud that remains open daily from 9am to 9pm. Tickets are also available online through http://www.dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com/en/tickets.
Gulf News 2017. All rights reserved.