The cast is all star. Nine of the current top 15 on the WTA Tour, including Serena Williams, Garbine Muguruza, Agnieszka Radwanska and teenager Belinda Bencic, will be here. Former world No 1s and fan favourites Ana Ivanovic, Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Jankovic will also be competing.
On the men’s side, world No 1 Novak Djokovic will be there but Roger Federer will miss the champions because of injury. Other household names, including Stan Wawrinka, Tomas Berdych and Feliciano Lopez along with rising stars Nick Kyrgios, Borna Coric and Hyeon Chung will also play in the emirate.
Roger Federer – Starting with three successive titles, in 2003, 2004 and 2005, which made him the first man to defend a Dubai crown, the Swiss has since added four more Dubai titles, winning in 2007, 2012, 2014 and 2015. He has lost two finals as well. Djokovic is the second most successful Dubai champion with four titles.
Justine Henin – There have been only two repeat winners on the women’s side: Henin and Venus Williams, and the Belgian leads the winners list with four Dubai titles. Venus is one behind, but surprisingly her sister, the world No 1 Serena, has never won here.
UAE Duty Free Tennis Championships is the first tennis tournament, outside of the Australian Open and the US Open, to offer equal prize money to men and women. The organisers made that decision in 2005, two years before the French Open and Wimbledon. The prize money that year was upped from $585,000 to match the $1 million given to men. The prize money has doubled since and stands at $2m (Dh7.35m) now.
During the championships, the Aviation Club becomes a place to go and people can come there, mingle, relax. The Aviation Club’s tree-lined courtyards, fountains, miniature lakes and dozens of themed restaurants turn the two-week championships into “a full social outing” and “a carnival”.
That atmosphere and the presence of a 293-bedroom on-site hotel makes Dubai Tennis Championships a must-visit tournament for players and spectators.
For further information, please visit the official website at www.dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com.