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17 April 2024

Dubai Duty Free Tennis: Bartoli gets wild card

Marion Bartoli of France returns a shot to Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in their women's singles match at the Sony Ericsson Open tennis tournament in Key Biscayne, Florida on Wednesday. (REUTERS)

By Ajanta Paul

The French number one player Marion Bartoli gets a wild card entry to Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship.

The women’s draw for the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships now boasts an amazing 17 out of the top 20 players.

The Frenchwoman is currently ranked 11 after reaching a career high of 7th during 2012. 

She has 7 career singles titles and 3 doubles titles to her name, and although she didn’t add to that tally last year she did reach 2 finals and was a regular sight in the quarter finals reaching five, including at the US Open, and in the semis reaching four.

Bartoli has found it difficult in Dubai to repeat the success she has enjoyed in so many other places.

She may have won seven titles, but the furthest she has reached in Dubai is the third round.

She has a history of giant killing, having taken care of world number one Victoria Azarenka in Miami last year, ending Azarenka’s 26 match winning streak. 

She is known for her unorthodox and intense style of play, and is an aggressive and hard hitting player, with an unusual serve which she developed to compensate for her relatively small stature.

“It works extremely well for me I think, the take back is a bit different but when the toss is up it’s the same as everyone. I have been working extremely hard on my serve because I am not very tall and that was always my weaker shot. Now it is my weapon.”

Her opponents will include world number one and Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka, 2012 Wimbledon, Olympic and US Open champion Serena Williams, Dubai defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska, 2011 Dubai winner Caroline Wozniacki, 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and 2011 US Open winner Samantha Stosur.

The WTA event will be followed by the ATP World Tour event commencing on 25 February and which will feature world number 1 Novak Djokovic, defending champion Roger Federer, as well as top 10 rivals Tomas Berdych, Juan Martin Del Potro, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Janko Tipsarevic.