The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the UAE Sporting Calendar and one of the most popular tournaments on the international tennis circuit, and in 2014 it surpassed all expectations.
From the world class action on court to the excitement of the thousands of children who participated in the off court activities;to the enjoyment of those soaking up the atmosphere and entertainment in the Tennis Village, it was an exhilarating fortnight for all involved.
The WTA tournament boasted a star studded line up which included the current world number one Serena Williams, four former world number ones and 7 of the world’s top ten players. It included no less than four players who had won the title previously, including two-time champion Venus Williams, defending champion Petra Kvitova, 2012 winner AgnieszkaRadwanska and 2011 champion Caroline Wozniacki.
The ATP tournament was equally strong, with a stellar line-up featuring five of the world’s top ten men including defending champion Novak Djokovic, five time champion Roger Federer, exciting Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, former US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro and 2014 Australian Open semi-finalist Tomas Berdych.At the end of two weeks of spectacular tennis action, which attracted over 114,000 spectators, two new champions were crowned.
One of the highlights was when the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships was awarded the ATP 500 Tournament of the Year Award for 2013, for an unprecedented and remarkable 10th time since 2003. In addition to the tennis action, there was a packed social program to accompany the event with the popular Ladies’ Day, Kids’ Days and Fantastic Fan Day, and with many competitions and opportunities for lucky fans to win coveted finals tickets.
The community outreach and off-court programs were a huge success, involving thousands of children in the activities conducted both before and during the tournament. Schools were invited to participate in competitions in the lead up to the Championships, and over 500 children from selected schools had the chance to play the DDF tennis inflatable game as a fun introduction to tennis.
The Dubai Duty Free Kids’ Days, Tennis Emirates Days, Dubai Duty Free and Lacoste Special Needs Clinics held during the tournament were very well attended, and a huge success for all involved.
The activities in the village were equally popular, with Ladies’ Day attracting many entries in the “Dress to Impress” fashion parade, and fanatical fans dressing in fun costumes on Fantastic Fan Day. Entertainers kept the visitors to the Tennis Village entertained while they watched the action on the big screen; autograph sessions with top players were very popular, and several competitions gave fans the opportunity to win great prizes including cars, and tickets to the finals.
The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is owned and operated by Dubai Duty Free, and held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.