DUBAI: Marion Bartoli of France will meet Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic on the Centre court on the opening day of the WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis tournament, starting today (Monday).
The World No. 11, Bartoli, hopes to overcome her first hurdles and face World No.1 Serena Williams, the second seed here in Dubai. Before Bartoli-Zapopalova match, Sloane Stephens of the US will take on Sorana Cirstea of Romania in the opening match on the centre court at 2pm.
Tennis fans, who are given free entry to the side courts this year, will get an opportunity to see the former US Open winner Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia facing Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain on Court 1 at 12.30pm in the qualifiers for a place in the main draw.
The other qualifying singles clashes include Ekaterina Bychkova of Russia versus Jie Zheng of China (12.30pm on Court 3); followed by Urszula Radwanska of Poland and Kurumi Nara of Japan. Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia will meet Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain on Court1 after Kuznetsova’s match.
UK’s rising sensation Laura Robson, who got a wild card entry, will be seen in action in the last match on the Centre Court against Kazakhasthan’s Yulia Putintseva.
There will be action aplenty in and around the tennis stadium for the next fortnight, as a full schedule of competitions, activities and promotions make the Tennis Village in Garhoud the place to be.
“The quality of the field is superb, so the action on courts 1, 2 and 3 for which entry is free will be world class” said Tournament Director Salah Tahlak.
The tournament will have a fun social programme with Ladies’ Day on Thursday, Feb. 21, and FANtastic Fan Day on Thursday, Feb.28. Ladies are invited to come dressed to impress, enjoy special lunch offers and enter the parade at 5pm to win great prizes including finals tickets.