Dubai is all set to witness another scintillating field of WTA stars compete for the title of the new season's first Premier 5 tournament at 2020 Dubai Tennis Championships. The draw has been released and features many big names including the defending champion Belinda Bencic, top two seeds Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova, and to top it all off a returning Kim Clijsters.
With main draw action for the tournament set to begin on Monday, here is a look at the prospects of the top players in the draw.
Expected semifinal: Simona Halep vs Elina Svitolina
Analysis: A highly competitive half of the draw will see Simona Halep compete against the winners of top first round match-ups Alison Riske-Ons Jabeur, Maria Sakkari-Aryna Sabalenka and Qiang Wang-Elise Mertens to have a shot at the semi-finals. Not even one of those match-ups will be easy, to say the least.
The other section will see Elina Svitolina compete for the semi-finals, but is bound to some early resistance. But the real highlight of the half will be the opening match between Garbiñe Muguruza and Kim Clijsters, who will be returning from retirement for the second time.
Prediction: Aryna Sabalenka vs Dayana Yastremska
Expected semifinal: Belinda Bencic vs Karolina Pliskova
Analysis: A difficult second round awaits defending champion Belinda Bencic. If she was to make it through that, she will be in a direct fight with eighth seed Petra Matric for the semi-final spot.
Karolina Pliskova, on the other hand, will have a much more difficult time through the draw. Talented youngsters Elina Rybakina, Karolina Muchova, and Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin will make it very difficult for the Czech second seed.
Prediction: Belinda Bencic vs Sofia Kenin or Karolina Muchova
Published 16 Feb 2020, 22:03 IST