The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships 2020 has started off with a series of upsets. Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin has been knocked out of this WTA Premier event along with the defending champion Belinda Bencic. Former two-time champion Elina Svitolina's struggles continue as she had to bite the dust in a one-sided defeat to qualifier Jennifer Brady. Rising star Dayana Yastremska too fell by the wayside in a thrilling encounter with fellow NextGen talent, Veronica Kudermetova.
After the upset-filled first couple of days, top seed Simona Halep will begin her campaign as she looks eagerly to add to her 2015 triumph on the courts of Aviation Club Tennis Centre in Dubai.
Having reunited with former coach, Darren Cahill before the start of the 2020 season, Halep displayed some of her trademark tenacity and self-belief on her way to the semi-finals of the Australian Open. A tight two-set loss to eventual runner-up Garbine Muguruza ended her title quest but the commendable performance did speak volumes of her confidence level.
Being title-less so far this year, the World No. 2 would be doubly motivated to end the drought at a place which is all too familiar for her. But she needs to be wary of the 45th ranked Tunisian, Ons Jabeur in her first match. Jabeur has a 1-0 record over Halep, albeit it came in a truncated match where the Wimbledon champion retired after the first set.
Besides, the 25-year-old Tunisian showed great character and composure in outlasting World No. 18 Alison Riske on Monday in a tight three-setter that took more than 2 hours to complete. She would be riding high on that upset win when she meets Halep and the Romanian needs to ensure that she is at the top of her game to penetrate into the Jabeur defence and bag her first win of the tournament.
Here's all you need to know about Dubai Tennis Championships Schedule:
Tournament: Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships
Category: WTA Premier
City: Dubai, UAE
Venue: Aviation Club Tennis Centre
Prize money: $2,908,770
Match schedule: (1) Simona Halep (ROU) vs (WC) Ons Jabeur (TUN) second-round match not before 8:30 pm IST on February 19, 2020
Live Telecast: There will be no live telecast in India
Live Scores: Click here
Head-to-head: Jabeur leads 1-0
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