The main draw of the 2016 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships kicked off on Monday, as the Aviation Club Tennis Center once again welcomed a packed field of players.
Even though top seed Serena Williams and several other players like Caroline Wozniacki had to pull out of the tournament, the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships once again assembled a quality field, spearheaded by 2015 champion Simona Halep and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova. Both are joined by Ana Ivanovic, Garbine Muguruza, the WTA’s young sensation Belinda Bencic, who today entered the Top 10 for the first time, and other quality players.
Main-draw began on Monday with a bang, as Madison Brengle upset 2015 Dubai quarterfinalist Ekaterina Makarova in straight sets. Andrea Petkovic had much less trouble with her start into the Dubai week, beating Italy’s Camila Giorgi in straights.
Another German performed in an even more spectacular fashion as Julia Görges blew Svetlana Kuznetsova off the court in the evening session, leaving the former French Open champion one single game in what was a 55-minute beatdown.
The final upset of the day came at the hands of American Coco Vandeweghe, who ended Karolina Pliskova’s Dubai appearance after just two sets, adding to what has been an increasingly-frustrating start into 2016 for one of last year’s quickest risers in the rankings.
First-round action will continue tomorrow with some high-quality matchups. Ana Ivanovic will meet Daria Gavrilova, while St. Petersburg finalist Belinda Bencic will take on another Serb, Jelena Jankovic.