The WTA Tour is set to begin its 2021 season in a new event in Abu Dhabi. The city, which usually plays host to a men’s exo in late December, will be home to the first event on the 2021 WTA calendar, and the field is packed.
Four of the Top 10 players entered including Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, Elina Svitolina, Karolina Pliskova and Aryna Sabalenka who finished 2020 winning nine straight matches.
The 64-field main draw will begin Wednesday and finish with the finals on Wednesday the 13th.
Also playing are Garbine Muguruza, Elena Rybakina, Elise Mertens, Maria Sakkari and Jennifer Brady. American Amanda Anisimova was a late withdrawal.
The projected quarterfinals:
1 Kenin v 5 Muguruza
4 Sabalenka v 6 Rybakina
8 Vondrousova v 3 Pliskova
7 Mertens v 2 Svitolina
Muguruza opens her 2021 against Kristina Mladenovic in the best match of the first round. She then could meet Kenin in the quarters in a rematch of their 2020 Australian Open title match.
Coco Gauff, Qiang Wang, Leylah Fernandez, Donna Vekic and Vera Zvonareva are also in the field. Gauff opens against little-known Norwegian Ulrikke Eikeri.
Players in Abu Dhabi will be able to get on a charter flight to Melbourne departing from nearby Dubai where the women’s qualifying will be held.
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