Dubai Draw Preview

The 2016 Dubai Duty Free Championships field has been decimated by withdrawals prior to the commencement of the event. Serena Williams, Angelique Kerber, Agnieszka Radwanska, Lucie Safarova, Timea Bacsinszky, Caroline Wozniacki and Alize Cornet among those to withdraw from the event. Nevertheless, the draw is still filled with top quality players, defending champion Simona Halep will be the top seed with Garbine Muguruza, Petra Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova looming as the Romanian’s biggest threats in Dubai.

The draw has thrown up some intriguing first round matches in Dubai, most notably: Ana Ivanovic vs Daria Gavrilova, Anna Schmiedlova vs Caroline Garcia, Andrea Petkovic vs Camila Giorgi, Jelena Jankovic vs Belinda Bencic and Karolina Pliskova vs CoCo Vandeweghe. There will be no easy matches for any players right from the start, a couple of the top seeds look set for a very difficult first up challenge.

There are also a number of potentially dangerous qualifiers to be added to the main draw in the coming days, including Yaroslova Shvedova, Varvara Lepchenko, Alison Riske and Tsvetana Pironkova. 

Simona Halep has been dealt a tough draw in Dubai, the defending champion and top seed will receive a bye through the opening round before playing either Ana Ivanovic or Daria Gavrilova in the second round. This is an important week for the Romanian, Simona has made a terrible start to the season, highlighted by her shocking first round loss to Zhang Shuai at the Australian Open. Simona showed signs of improvement during Romania’s Fed Cup tie with the Czech Republic, Simona lost to Karolina Pliskova in three sets but rebounded with a three set victory over Petra Kvitova. The world number 3 needs a big week to give herself a much needed confidence moving forward.


The bottom quarter of the draw is filled with potential blockbuster matches. Karolina Pliskova and Garbine Muguruza could be on track for a quarter-final meeting, but before that Pliksova could face Kristina Mladenovic in the second round if she can navigate her way through a tough first round match with CoCo Vandeweghe. Overall, it is a very tough draw for the 2015 runner-up. Whilst Garbine Muguruza could face Elina Svitolina in the second round.

There are numerous realistic potential champions this week in Dubai. St. Petersburg finalists Roberta Vinci and Belinda Bencic will be the two form players heading into the event but may struggle physically towards the end of the event. Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova and Garbine Muguruza are the three biggest names in the draw but all of them bring questionable form into the event. Perhaps this is a perfect opportunity for players like Caroline Garcia, Elina Svitolina, Camila Giorgi or Daria Gavrilova to claim a maiden premier level title?

Predicted Champion: Garbine Muguruza 

Who do you think will win the title in Dubai? Let me know what you think, leave a comment 🙂 


0 responses to “Dubai Draw Preview”

  1. These players are very unpredictable. But I’m going with Karolina Pliskova. I can somewhat see Bencic and Vinci in opposite semifinals against Halep and Pliskova respectively. But their physical state might affect their matches. While Halep’s form is still questionable.

    • That’s true, it is going to be tough for Vinci and Bencic to have a deep run in Dubai. I think Bencic is more capable because she is obviously younger.. I’m not sure about Pliskvoa winning the title just because she still often struggles in big matches, I think Muguruza will be desperate to get the win of her this time and I agree Halep’s form is questionable and I don’t see her winning the title

      • Yes true, but I’m confident that Pliskova will eventually get over this hurdle as she has certainly proven that to us last year in Dubai. Now that Halep isn’t exactly in ‘top-form’, Pliskova can prove her capability. Although, Muguruza will definitely be a top contender for this title too. I think it’s between Muguruza and Pliskova.

        • I agree, I think the winner will probably be Pliskova or Muguruza. If they play in the QF’s, that will be a great match

          • Pliskova is very much overrated in my opinion. She loses more often than not against Top 10 players, so I don’t think she will be a title contender.

            Hope to get Muguruza – Pliskova match. Muguruza will be determined to revenge her losses.

          • Muguruza will not even need to beat Pliskova… you are right that Pliskova is overrated, I said after her AO loss that I would stop overrating her

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