2020 Dubai Championships - WTA Premier. Kim Clijsters returns!

Who will win Dubai?


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Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
This is going to be one good week of tennis.

Premier tournament with a stacked draw that's headlined by the return of Kim Clijsters, she will be playing for the first time since the 2012 US Open. She opens against Bertens.

It's also the first WTA tournament for Sofia Kenin since winning the Australian Open.

The seeded players are: Halep, Pliskova, Svitolina, Bencic, Kenin, Bertens, Sabalenka and Martic.

Basically every unseeded player in the draw is great from Riske to Wang to Muguruza.

The wildcards went to Jabeur, Svitolina, Muguruza and Clijsters. Rybakina got in through special entry too.

Lots of juicy 1R matches:
Mertens v Wang
Svitolina v Muguruza
Bertens v Clijsters
Bencic v Pavs

Draw: https://www.wtatennis.com/tournament/718/dubai/2020/draws
Order of play: https://dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com/scores/order-of-play/

Stacked qualifying draw too:

 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
Also, some major controversy with the other WTA event that was meant to be on this week in Hungary.

The tournament was originally held in Budapest but was supposed to move to Debrecen this year but there was a lack of communication between organizers and the WTA and it got cancelled.

Dubai's qualifying draw was expanded to accommodate the singles players put out by this unfortunate miscommunication and went from 32 to 48 players and qualifiers went from the usual 4 to 6.

Those 16 additional spots were reserved for players who had been entered in Debrecen. Two spots were added to the main draw in lieu of byes for the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds. The draw went from 28 to 30 with the two extra qualifiers.

Unfortunately no allowance was made for those in doubles who were put out by this.
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
Bertens has withdrawn. In her defense, she is into the St Petersburg final and would then have to fly to Dubai and play Clijsters. Can understand withdrawing from that one.

Clijsters now faces Muguruza who got bumped up from being unseeded to being #9.

Garbie went from facing Svitolina to Clijsters. Not much luck in being 'seeded'.
 

D-Lite

Semi-Pro
Bertens has withdrawn. In her defense, she is into the St Petersburg final and would then have to fly to Dubai and play Clijsters. Can understand withdrawing from that one.

Clijsters now faces Muguruza who got bumped up from being unseeded to being #9.

Garbie went from facing Svitolina to Clijsters. Not much luck in being 'seeded'.
Yeah, I mean Svitolina isn't in amazing form ATM but I wonder if her losing early in Hua Hin was somewhat to get to Dubai 'fresh'? Same for Wang Qiang. Obviously they would probably want to win Hua Hin or why would you be there, but I do wonder when a huge tournament is the week after if they'd really want to hang around what, 10 hours flight away or something?

I'm very intrigued as to how well Clusters can play in her first match against someone who just made a GS final. Hopefully Garbine keeps her form from that tournament - I think it would be embarrassjng to get a thumping from Clijsters so early in her comeback.
 
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Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
Yeah, I mean Svitolina isn't in amazing form ATM but I wonder if her losing early in Hua Hin was somewhat to get to Dubai 'fresh'? Same for Wang Qiang. Obviously they would probably want to win Hua Hin or why would you be there, but I do wonder when a huge tournament is the week after if they'd really want to hang around what, 10 hours flight away or something?

I'm very intrigued as to how well Clusters can play in her first match against someone who just made a GS final. Hopefully Garbine keeps her form from that tournament - I think it would be embarrassjng to get a thumping from Clijsters so early in her comeback.
Svitolina hasn't won a title since the YEC at the end of 2018, she didn't win a title in all of 2019 and is tite-less at the moment despite being #4. I would've thought you'd rather have a title instead of prepare for a brutally loaded Premier draw like Dubai. Svitolina would likely have to beat two top 10 players to win this title, besides the WTA finals (2018 and 2019) she only has one top 10 win since May 2018 and that was against Keys at last years USO. Of course she did beat 5 top 10 players at the YEC in 2018 and 3 in 2019.

Svitolina got lucky with Bertens withdrawal shifting Muguruza to a seeded spot instead of facing Elina. Garbie of course beat Svitolina in the Aus Open 3R so she may have been favoured to cause the upset in that 1R. Svitolina now faces a qualifier/lucky loser then Vondrousova/Sevastova and then Yastremska/Clijsters/Muguruza.

I just can't see her going any further than a QF and if she does then she has Halep or Sabalenka in the SF and Pliskova/Kenin/Bencic in the final.
 
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fundrazer

Legend
Kim seems to be hitting a pretty good ball at times, but struggling to maintain that during a rally. Earlier she was having trouble stringing 2-3 shots together. Doing better now but still missing a lot.
 

AM75

Hall of Fame
So Kim comes back from years of retirement and edged a recent AO finalist. All the WTA haters should already be here screaming their usual „week era“!
 

oldmanfan

Hall of Fame
Kim's gonna do some damage this year if she stays healthy. Kim was hitting well after going down a double break at 0-3 in set2. Mugu was in danger of bowing out if Kim pulled out set2. Mugu was hitting hard, deep, and consistent or Kim could've won this. That's a great sign from Kim's view. A bit more fitness and match play and she'll be set.
 
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Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
Svitolina already down a set and break already by Brady.

She's defending SF points from last year. Not looking good at all.
 
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Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
Man, Svitolina's losses this year are seriously lopsided.

Brisbane 1R: Lost 6-1 6-1 to Collins
Aus Open 3R: Lost 6-2 6-1 to Muguruza
Hua Hin QF: Lost 6-4 6-2 to Hibino
Dubai 1R: Lost 6-2 6-1 to Brady

She's now currently 4-4 in 2020.
 

D-Lite

Semi-Pro
Bencic was defending the title and it was a Premier 5 last year so she was defending 900 points. Had just hit a career high #4 this week, now down to #9.
She may have been #4 worthy at some point last year but definitely not based on any form this year.
 
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Harry_Wild

G.O.A.T.
Lots of Qualifiers beating ranked and something seeded players in the 1st round!

Just proves that you go through qualifying to get to main draw, you are someone not to take lightly especially in the 1st of the tournament!
 
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Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
Kenin loses to Rybakina who continues to show she’s not to be messed with.

In 2020:
Shenzhen runner up
Hobart champ
Aus Open 3R (maiden AO too)
St Petersburg runner up
Into Dubai 2R with a win over the reigning AO champ
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
Yikes, Bencic now 5-5 in 2020, in a same funk as Svitolina who's 4-4.

The top 10 in 2020 so far:
#1 Barty: 9-2
#2 Halep: 6-2
#3 Pliskova: 6-1
#4 Bencic: 5-5
#5 Andreescu: 0-0
#6 Svitolina: 4-4
#7 Kenin: 10-4
#8 Bertens: 11-2
#9 Serena: 8-2
#10 Osaka: 5-2

Tour leader?
#19 Rybakina: 16-3
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
Absolutely baffled by next weeks entry list for Acapulco and Doha.

Why on earth is #12 Keys playing an International instead of Premier 5 Doha? She must be getting one hell of a payday to skip a Premier 5 tournament offering up to 900 points for a tournament that will get her a max 280 points. It makes sense for #2 seed Sloane since she's ranked #34 and is 0-3 this year but Keys made the Brisbane final and AO 3R and would've been the 10th seed. Could genuinely have gone deep in Doha.
 
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Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
Is there a limit to how many wildcards a player can get a year? Might be a good idea for Clijsters to take one into Acapulco. Much weaker draw, could go far and bring up that ranking. Unless she's saving all the wildcards for the big tournaments.
 
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