Gulf News: WTA To Start 2021 Season In Abu Dhabi

WASHINGTON, December 14, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)

On Sunday, the Gulf News, published in Abu Dhabi, reported that according to its sources the 2021 WTA season will begin in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on January with a 500 series tournament. The Gulf News also said that Dubai would host Australian Open qualifying beginning January 9.

The WTA 500 event, from Jan. 5-13, will be held at the International Tennis Complex of Zayed Sports City followed by the Australian Open qualifying draw at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium from Jan. 9-13. A total of 32 players (16 men and 16 women) would advance to the main draw in Melbourne.

“There are quite a few top tennis players who have chosen Dubai for their off-season preparations, and these players will join the qualifiers in special charter flights heading to Melbourne,” an official told the Gulf News on condition of anonymity.

“The world has never been in a situation like this before, so people have had to innovate and think out of the box to ensure that sporting life goes on as normal while maintaining all safety standards laid down by international agencies and local governments. Of course, neither of these competitions – the WTA 500 tournament in Abu Dhabi or the Australian Open qualifiers in Dubai – will be open to spectators.”

Fils, Krueger win Orange Bowl 18s titles

Unseeded Arthur Fils of France defeated top seed Peter Fajta of Hungary, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2, to win the 2020 Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships boys’ 18s title Sunday afternoon on green clay at the Frank Veltri Tennis Center in Plantation, Fla., near Miami.

Meanwhile, wild card Ashlyn Krueger of the United States won the girls’ 18s title with a 6-4, 6-4 win over No. 7 seed Jana Kolodynska of Belarus. Kruger won the girls’ 16s Orange Bowl title last year.

Previous winners of the boys’ event include: Bjorn Borg (1972), John McEnroe (1976), Ivan Lendl (1977), Jim Courier (1987), Roger Federer (1998), Andy Roddick (1999) and Dominic Thiem (2011).

Prominent winners of the girls’ event include: Chris Evert (1969-70), Gabriela Sabatini (1984), Anna Kournikova (1995), Elena Dementieva (1998), Caroline Wozniacki (2005), Sofia Kenin (2014), Bianca Andreescu (2015) and Coco Gauff (2018).

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