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Dubai Draw: Iga Swiatek Heads Top Half, AO Champion Aryna Sabalenka Returns

The draw for the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships was conducted today.

Reigning Grand Slam champions carry winning streaks into Dubai.

The draw for the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships was conducted today. The tournament begins tomorrow.

See the Dubai draw here.

World No. 1 Iga Swiatek, who defeated Jessica Pegula in today’s Doha final to successfully defend her Qatar Open crown, heads the field.

Reigning US Open and Roland Garros Champion Swiatek has a first-round bye and will play either German Julia Grabher or 2021 US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez in her opener.

With 64 players in the draw, including 17 of the world’s Top-20 ranked players, the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships field includes five Grand Slam winners boasting a collective 10 Grand Slam titles between them.

The draw’s top eight seeds, who all feature in the world’s Top-10 ranked players, have received first round byes.

To reach the February 25th final, Swiatek must navigate a tough top half of the draw that featuring France’s Caroline Garcia (seeded 4); the USA’s Coco Gauff (5); Greece’s Maria Sakkari (6); reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina (9) – who lost the Dubai final in 2020; 2022 Dubai finalist Veronika Kudermetova (10); Liudmila Samsonova (14); and two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka (15).

Empowered by winning her maiden major title in January’s Australian Open, No. 2 seeded Aryna Sabalenka will face either Jil Teichmann or Anastasia Potapova in her opener.

Sabalenka anchors the bottom half of the draw that includes the Jessica Pegula (3); 2018 Dubai finalist Daria Kasatkina (7); Olympic gold-medal champion and 2019 Dubai champ Belinda Bencic (8); Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia (11); two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova (12) of the Czech Republic – who last triumphed in Dubai a decade ago; the tournament’s defending champion and 2017 French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko (13) of Latvia; and Ekaterina Alexandrova (16).

Elsewhere in the draw, World No. 39 Leylah Fernandez, a likely crowd favorite in Dubai courtesy of the Canadian’s Filipino heritage, will play a qualifier in the first round before a potential showdown with World No.1 Swiatek in the second.

Finally, six players have received wildcards to enter the main draw, including Turkey’s Ipek Oz, revealed Salah Tahlak, Joint COO and Tournament Director of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship.

In addition to McLoughlin and Tahlak, the Official Draw event was also attended by Ramesh Cidambi, Joint COO and Head of Tournament Organising Committee, as well as leading players Sania Mirza, the 2013 women’s doubles tournament champion, and former World No.2 Paula Badosa, who returns to tournament play in the emirate this week following a long-running thigh injury.