Halep gets wild­card for Dubai

The Pak Banker - - MARKETS/SPORTS -

A stun­ning four of the world's top five and six of the top 10 will com­pete in the Dubai Duty Free Ten­nis Cham­pi­onships WTA event next week af­ter de­fend­ing cham­pion and world num­ber three Si­mona Halep, 2015 Dubai fi­nal­ist Karolina Pliskova and two-time Wim­ble­don cham­pion Pe­tra Kvi­tova ac­cepted wild cards into the tour­na­ment.

"We are thrilled that once again so many of the very best play­ers in the world have cho­sen to com­pete at the Dubai Duty Free Ten­nis Cham­pi­onships," said Colm McLough­lin, Ex­ec­u­tive Vice Chair­man of Dubai Duty Free.

"Three for­mer Dubai cham­pi­ons will be tak­ing part and four play­ers who are or who have been ranked num­ber one in the world will also par­tic­i­pate. We can be cer­tain that ev­ery day will pro­vide great en­ter­tain­ment and drama as so many bat­tles for one of the most cov­eted tro­phies in the sport. We wish ev­ery­one well and look for­ward to see­ing who will emerge as our 2016 cham­pion."

Halep had an­nounced that she would have to miss the event in or­der to un­dergo surgery, but the temp­ta­tion to de­fend her tro­phy at one of her favourite stops on the WTA Tour proved too much to re­sist. Last sea­son was the best of her ca­reer as she not only won in Dubai, but also in Shen­zhen and In­dian Wells, and she fin­ished as run­ner-up in Toronto where she had to re­tire due to heat ill­ness, and in Cincin­nati. She was also a semi-fi­nal­ist in Mi­ami, Stuttgart, Rome and at the US Open, and she fin­ished the sea­son as the world num­ber two.

"I learnt how to play with­out pres­sure when I have to de­fend some­thing, to de­fend points or the ti­tle," said Halep, ex­plain­ing her suc­cess. "And I learnt that if I'm re­laxed and en­joy­ing what I'm do­ing, it helps me con­cen­trate bet­ter and I can win tough matches."

Pliskova also en­joyed an out­stand­ing sea­son af­ter fin­ish­ing as run­ner-up to Halep in Dubai. She was a fi­nal­ist at four other events and won her fourth ca­reer sin­gles ti­tle in Prague, and in Au­gust she reached a ca­reer-high of seven in the rank­ings. She was also a semi-fi­nal­ist in An­twerp and Tian­jin, and she capped off the year by play­ing a vi­tal role in the Czech Re­pub­lic's vic­tory over Rus­sia in the Fed Cup fi­nal, earn­ing two of her coun­try's three wins in the five match com­pe­ti­tion. Last week­end she con­tin­ued to ex­cel for her coun­try as her three Fed Cup vic­to­ries against Ro­ma­nia put her na­tion into the 2016 semi-fi­nals.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.