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Dubai set for tennis treat

posted on 17/02/2014: 2014 views



Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships start today; Venus to face Vesnina.

Venus Williams' first-round match against Elena Vesnina will have the prime-time billing slot on day one of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Monday evening.

The American wildcard entrant, who is a nine-time Grand Slam champion, has been pitted against her Russian opponent in the first of two night matches from 7pm onwards.

Williams will be in the unusual position of having a losing record against her adversary over the net, with Vesnina leading their head-to-head 2-0 courtesy of victories in Cincinnati last year and Wimbledon in 2012.

These two players are also scheduled to meet in the women's doubles as well after it was confirmed that Venus and her younger sister Serena had been granted a wildcard for that competition too.

However, the Williams sisters face a tall order as they have been drawn against Vesnina and her partner, Ekaterina Makarova, who are the second seeds behind the Italian duo Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci.

Vinci follows Venus onto Centre Court as she takes on Romanian Sorana Cirstea in the second tussle under the floodlights.

Sloane Stephens' encounter with Lucie Safarova is the pick of the afternoon action at 2pm before Russian wildcard Nadia Petrova takes on Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro.

There's also plenty of top-notch action on the outside courts, where it's free entry for spectators. Alisa Kleybanova meets Makarova on Court One prior to three first-round doubles matches in a row.

Courts Two and Three will also be hosting the four remaining qualifying matches, featuring two players well inside the world's top 30 – Canada's Eugenie Bouchard (19th) and Flavia Pennetta (22nd), of Italy.

Bouchard needs to get past Germany's Annika Beck to make it to the main draw, while fifth-seeded Austrian Yvonne Meusburger stands between Pennetta and the round of 32.

"Spectators are assured of seeing many of the world's top players right from the first day and some of them will appear on the outside courts, where admittance is free,” said tournament director Salah Tahlak.

"There is no greater value for tennis fans anywhere else in the world.”

The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is owned and organised by Dubai Duty Free and held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Tickets for the event are on sale from the Box Office at the Dubai Tennis Stadium, which is open from 9am to 9pm daily. Grandstand ticket prices range from Dh75 for opening rounds to Dh500 for finals, with season tickets also available. Tickets are still available for every day of the women's week.

For further information about tickets, prices and the tournament, visit:www.dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com or phone the call centre on: +971 4 4172415. – Khaleej Times – Read more: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/sport/inside_sport.asp?section=tennis&xfile=/data/tennis/2014/February/tennis_February12.xml

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