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Ivanovic back to hunt for Dubai title

Injury hampered her preparation for the Australian Open in which she lost in the first round. (FILE)

By Staff

Former world number one, Ana Ivanovic will light up the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships this month as she bids for one of the most prestigious titles on the WTA tour.

Known as much for her down-to-earth personality and positivity as the tennis that has taken her to a Grand Slam title and top spot in the world, the 23-year old Serb is determined to do well in Dubai, where she last competed in 2009.
“Ana Ivanovic is a delightful young lady who has managed to combine great skill as an athlete and achieve so much success at the very highest level of the game while keeping her feet firmly on the ground,” said Colm McLoughlin, managing director of tournament owners and organisers Dubai Duty Free.
“She found the going difficult for a while after she reached number one, but her hard work and dedication were rewarded late last year with two impressive titles. It will be interesting to see if she can now add another title here.”
Injury has so far stopped Ivanovic adding to the two titles she won at the end of last season, in Linz and Bali. She reached the final of the Hopman Cup mixed team event with childhood friend and Australian Open champion, Novak Djokovic, but then had to default the match.
That injury meant she couldn’t play in Sydney and it hampered her preparation for the Australian Open, where she was knocked out in the first round, but further rest and recuperation since then means that she will be fighting fit and ready to challenge the best when play begins at the Dubai Tennis Stadium on February 14.
Among her biggest challengers for the title will be defending champion Venus Williams, world number one Caroline Wozniacki, number three Vera Zvonareva, French Open winner Francesca Schiavone, Australian number one Samantha Stosur, top Chinese player, and Australian Open finalist Na Li and former number one Jelena Jankovic.
“Dubai is always a fun place to visit. It has great shopping and some amazing hotels. I’ve played some good matches at this tournament and I hope to go further this year than I have in the past,” said an optimistic Ivanovic.
Tickets to see the sensational Serb, and all the other stars in action are still available. Fans can visit www.dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com or phone the call centre on +971 4 358 9797 for more information.
The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Play begins on February 14 with the WTA Tour event and continues with the ATP tournament from February 21.