French Open champ Swiatek set for Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships debut

WAM

Iga Swiatek is set to make her debut at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships next week.

The 19 year-old overcame 2020 Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin in the French Open final in October to become the first player, male or female, from Poland to win a major championship.

But it was not only that which guaranteed her a place in the history books. Defeating reigning Dubai champion and world number two Simona Halep along the way, she became only the second unseeded player ever to win the title at Roland Garros.

"We are thrilled to welcome Iga Swiatek to Dubai for the first time," said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free.

"She is one of the most exciting young players to emerge in recent times, and the manner in which she achieved her victory in Paris was remarkable. We look forward to seeing if she can repeat that success here in Dubai," he added.

Tennis fans have liked what they have seen and in WTA ballots voted her as striking their Favourite Shot of the Year in 2019 and as their Favourite Singles Player of the Year in 2020. She was also the recipient of the 2020 WTA Most Improved Player Award.

"Iga Swiatek captured the attention of the world when she won the French Open, and there is no doubt that she will be one of the leading contenders for the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title," said Tournament Director Salah Tahlak.

Among those who will also be challenging for the Dubai title are not only defending champion Halep but former winners Petra Kvitova, Elina Svitolina and Belinda Bencic, 2020 US Open runner-up Victoria Azarenka, recent Abu Dhabi winner Aryna Sabalenka, former Wimbledon and French Open champion Garbine Muguruza and Tunisian sensation Ons Jabeur.

The 21st staging of the WTA 1000 event takes place from March 7-13 and is followed by the 29th star-studded ATP tournament from March 14-20.

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