Former world No. 1, Kim Clijsters and 2020 Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin are two of the biggest attractions at this week's WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Clijsters is making her comeback to the tennis circuit after more than seven years in Dubai while Kenin has just won her first Grand Slam singles title.
On Saturday, the two players took a stroll on the beach yesterday at Jumeirah Al Naseem. Clijsters said she appreciated the fact that Dubai was the first tournament to offer equal prize money for both men and women. “Dubai is the first tournament that made sure that there was equal prize money for both men and women, so it’s obviously a tournament that has always been trying to create and step up and be a leader amongst a lot of the other tournaments on the tour”.
Clijsters was asked by Kenin why she chose Dubai for her comeback tournament, the Belgian commented, “Dubai is the perfect place, I’ve been practicing indoors for six months or so, just to be able to come here and to be in the sun, it’s a great week for us to kick it off, I’m excited to be here”.
Kenin, who reached the third round last year as the World No. 37, comes into this tournament as the top-ranked American in the rankings. Eyes will also be on Sofia, the 21-year-old reached the third round in Dubai a year ago where she was ranked an anonymous 37 in the world, but she now returns as the world number seven and is a strong contender for the trophy.
Kenin commented, “This is my second year in Dubai and I feel like all the players love coming here, for the beaches of course, beautiful hotels, everything”. Clijsters takes on another former World No. 1 Garbine Muguruza in the first round while Kenin will take on Elena Rybakina in her first match.