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Kenin leads Abu Dhabi field as WTA Tour begins

The 2021 WTA Tour begins in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, with four of the top 10, led by Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin

Sofia Kenin Sofia Kenin

The WTA Tour is set to begin with a bang as Sofia Kenin headlines the field for inaugural Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open, the opening event of the 2021 season.

The decision by the Australian to move back three weeks in the calendar to a Feb 8 start caused a reshuffle to the tournaments that had been planned and the introduction of a new event in Abu Dhabi to kick things off.

The one WTA event before the Australian Open will begin on Wednesday and Australian Open champion Kenin is one of four top 10 players entered in the event. Elina Svitolina, former world No 1 Karolina Pliskova and Aryna Sabalenka will all be going for the title in the first WTA 500 of the year.

Two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza is also in the field and the Spaniard is happy to be back.

“I feel I am back again and I am looking forward to the entire excitement of being at a new event and a new season,” she told reporters. “I am glad we are going to have crowds [at the Australian Open] and right now, I feel motivated and happy to be part of it all,” Muguruza told reporters on Monday.

“I am not really concerned about these times now as we make a comeback to normal tennis on the Tour as everyone is doing a great job in putting this swing together. There is a lot of attention being paid to the little details like staying put in the room and training with the same partners etc, and that is what I have to try and be prepared for heading to Melbourne.”

Muguruza Open d'Australie

Americans Jennifer Brady and Coco Gauff are also in the field.

Abu Dhabi will also host the women’s qualifying event for the Australian Open, which will be held Jan 10-13.

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