DUBAI, UAE - Australian Open runner-up Garbiñe Muguruza has joined next week's stacked field for the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, the tournament announced today.
The former World No.1, a two-time semifinalist in Dubai in 2015 and 2018, has received a wildcard - along with four-time Grand Slam champion Kim Clijsters, who will kick off her latest comeback in the tournament. Muguruza, herself a two-time major winner, announced her return to the elite level of tennis with her run to the Australian Open final last month, where she fell to Sofia Kenin, and has risen back to World No.16 as a result.
"Garbiñe has been ranked as high as No.1 in the world and is clearly once again playing at the very top of her game," said tournament director Salah Tahlak. "In the 20th year of the WTA event in Dubai, we can all look forward to seeing if she can become our 14th ladies' champion in what is certain to be a fascinating week."
BIG NEWS 🥳— Dubai Tennis Champs (@DDFTennis) February 12, 2020
Two-time Grand Slam champion and 2020 Australian Open finalist @GarbiMuguruza has accepted a wild card to the @DubaiDutyFree Tennis Championships 💪
Good luck Muguruza, you have support from all your fans here in Dubai 🎾#DDFTennis @WTA pic.twitter.com/dQQ4XCgsW7
However, US Open champion Bianca Andreescu's injury woes continued as the Canadian was forced to with draw from the tournament. The World No.6 incurred a knee injury during last year's WTA Finals in Shenzhen and missed the Australian Open as a result. Andreescu was named to the Canadian Fed Cup squad for their Qualifier tie against Switzerland and travelled to Biel with the team, but was unable to take to the court as the guests fell 1-3.
"I'm very sad to announce that I won't be able to compete in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships next week," Andreescu said. "I'm not at 100% yet and following my team and doctor's recommendation, I don't want to take any risk to re-injure my knee. Each day I get closer to being back to the court competing but Dubai is just too soon. Hope I can come and play in Dubai next year!"
In addition to Muguruza and Clijsters, the Dubai field will also feature defending champion Belinda Bencic and 2015 winner Simona Halep, along with newly crowned Australian Open champion Kenin, World No.3 and 2015 finalist Karolina Pliskova, World No.8 Kiki Bertens and Roland Garros finalist Marketa Vondrousova. Teenage up-and-comers Dayana Yastremska and Amanda Anisimova are also entered in the draw, as well as Wuhan champion Aryna Sabalenka, Roland Garros semifinalist Johanna Konta and US Open quarterfinalist Wang Qiang.