In Dubai, the stars also shine in qualifications
- 15 Feb 2020
The WTA tournament in Dubai really is a star-studded affair. And it’s worth it from its qualifications draw to its main draw! Before watching first rounds opposing the likes of Garbine Muguruza to Elina Svitolina, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to Belinda Bencic, or Maria Sakkari to Aryna Sabalenka, one can indeed already get his popcorn by giving a look to the qualifications. Before contemplating the return of Kim Clijsters, against Kiki Bertens in the first round, we can already find the show out of the main draw.
That’s how on Saturday, you could find on courts former Top 10 players with Carla Suarez Navarro, Daria Kasatkina and Kristina Mladenovic, or former Top 10 players and Grand Slam semi-finalists with Julia Goerges (Wimbledon 2018). None of them have made it directly to the main draw. The German, for example, had to play Camila Giorgi (6-2, 6-4) in her first round of qualifications, a match that could totally be in the second week of a Grand Slam.
All the favorites went through in Dubai, but the battle is going to rage on to get into that main draw as only six spots will be left for qualifiers. Among the candidates, you find so many of the usual main draw players of the Tour: Alison Van Uytvanck, Kirsten Flipkens, Katerina Siniakova, Aleksandra Sasnovich, Sorana Cirstea, or Jennifer Brady. Imagine that: Goerges – Cirstea and Mladenovic – Kasatkina are among the second rounds of those qualifications. The field this year is simply mind-blowing. And also shows the density of the Tour right now when having a few bad months or a terrible season immediately takes you out of the draws that matter. Consistency has maybe never been as big of a weapon than what it is today.