As one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the UAE, the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships sporting calendar is one of the most popular tournaments on the international tennis circuit, and in 2016 it again delivered a fortnight of captivating action and entertainment.
This years WTA tournament saw four of the world’s top ten players including top seed and 2015 defending champion Simona Halep as well asformer world number ones Ana Ivanovic and JelenaJankovic adding a touch of fame and glamour to the exciting event.
The ATP tournament included Australian Open, Wimbledon, US Open and four-time Dubai Champion Novak Djokovic, two-time Dubai finalist Tomas Berdych and Feliciano Lopez.
As expected, the tournament offered something for everyone, from world-class action on court, to the excitement of the thousands of children who participated in the off-court activities and the enjoyment of those soaking up the atmosphere and entertainment in the Tennis Village, which gets more vibrant and festive each year.
This year also saw Sara Errani overwhelm BarboraStrycova 6-0 6-2 to win the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships as she dominated the most one-sided final in the 16 years of the WTA event. In the ATP event, Stan Wawrinka held off a valiant challenge from Marcos Baghdatis to win 6-4 7-6 (13) and claim his first Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title.
The doubles women’s title went to the unseeded pair of Chia-Jung Chuang and Darija Jurak claiming a 6-4 6-4 victory over second seeds Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic.Simone Bolelli and Andreas Seppi won the doubles men’s title 6-2 3-6 14-12 in their first final together against Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez.
Once again stars sizzled off-court too, at both the WTA Player’s Party and their day out in town. Hosted at the elegant garden of Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, the party was truly spectacular event that gave the champions a chance to enjoy Dubai’s hospitality and each other’s company away from the high-octane competition.
While tennis fans and spectators were treated to a multitude of exciting attractions on every day of the tournament such as Kid’s Days, Ladies’ Day and a Fantastic Fan Day, the Tennis Village buzzed all fortnight with roving entertainment, music, games, autograph signings and big screens showing the action live.
There’s always more than just tennis at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, owned and organised by Dubai Duty Free and each year it gets bigger and better in all aspects.
By Shereen Shabnam