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Rising Sun
Jan 29th, 2002, 05:45 PM
Source: Gulf-News

Kournikova confirms for Dubai WTA event

Anna Kournikova, one of the most photographed women in sports, will compete in the Dubai Tennis Championships, tournament owner and organiser Dubai Duty Free has confirmed.

The glamorous Russian, who rose to number eight in the world rankings in 2001, will join a star cast that includes Wimbledon champion Venus Williams and nine-time Grand Slam winner Monica Seles.

Kournikova is as well known for her film star looks as her tennis and has graced magazine covers around the world.

Commenting on her decision to accept a Wild Card to play in Dubai, Colm McLoughlin, Managing Director of Dubai Duty Free, said: "Anna is very much in demand by tournaments on the Sanex WTA Tour. It is a reflection of the high reputation the Dubai Tennis Championships has among players that Anna has elected to add the event to her crowded calendar.

"Anna has attracted a new legion of fans to the game, and we are confident that along with Venus and Monica, her presence in Dubai will draw record numbers of fans to Dubai Tennis Stadium."

Kournikova was outstanding as a junior, being ranked world number one in 1995, and at the tender age of 14 she became the youngest player ever to compete in the Federation Cup, helping Russia to a 3-0 win over Sweden.

She was voted Most Impressive Newcomer in 1996, and in 1999 she received the Doubles Team of the Year Award with reigning Dubai champion Martina Hingis, with whom she won this year's Australian Open Doubles title in Melbourne, her second with the Swiss star.

Kournikova was also one of only two athletes to make the People magazine "50 Most Beautiful People" list in 1998.

Although her ranking tumbled after she was forced to miss most of last year through a stress fracture in her left foot, she is clearly back to her winning ways. In addition to claiming the Australian Open doubles crown, she reached the semi-finals in Auckland earlier in January.

The Dubai Tennis Championships, comprising the Dubai Duty Free Women's Open back-to-back with the Dubai Duty Free Men's Open, runs from February 18 to March 3 and is held under the patronage of General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Minister of Defence.

Williams Rulez
Jan 29th, 2002, 05:47 PM
What a field!! Go Venus and Monica!! Anna too :D

Mattographer
Jan 29th, 2002, 05:50 PM
Please no request for WC! :angel:

I want Rachel McQuillan recieve WC because she's semifinalist of the event!

TeeRexx
Jan 29th, 2002, 05:51 PM
Seems a good place for VENUS to continue her streak against ANNA and to restart a streak against Monica. :p :angel:

Phoenix
Jan 29th, 2002, 06:24 PM
wow,
so we gonna see anna in the
main draw

TheBoiledEgg
Jan 29th, 2002, 06:32 PM
Alex ..... Rachel is in Memphis that week

Anna being there might bring in some locals, normally its 90% Expats who come and watch along with a few sheikhs

Infiniti2001
Jan 29th, 2002, 08:20 PM
Are women allowed to watch tennis in the same stadium as the macho men (gag) or is Dubai like Saudi Arabia????

Aloysius
Jan 29th, 2002, 08:36 PM
I'm not up with the culture in Dubai, but I thought Dubai was a more relaxed city than most in the Middle East. If they weren't, I wouldn't imagine that they'd hold a women's tennis tournament or the 75K Challenger they have there later.

Sheikhs and ex-pats. Sounds like an interesting audience. I'd like to know too. Are Arab women permitted to sit with the men? What about Western women?

Was it in Qatar last year at an IAAF Track & Field meet that some people from the crowd started throwing stones at the female athletes?

TheBoiledEgg
Jan 29th, 2002, 08:42 PM
yes women are allowed to watch but the local people have little interest in the tennis.

mostly its westerners who work there and the rich people.

Dubai is just like Las Vegas with some casinos but not in the same scale.

Jordan.
Jan 30th, 2002, 03:49 AM
Go Anna!!!!!:kiss:

Vanity
Jan 30th, 2002, 04:05 AM
Glad to see Anna committing to some different events this year! I know week after she is playing Acapulco (she has endorsements with the title sponsor of that event).
Good luck Anna, do your best! :D

Linton
Jan 30th, 2002, 04:18 AM
This has to be a positive sign for her. Will she be playing doubles here?

Bright Red
Jan 30th, 2002, 05:14 AM
If I'm not mistaken, Anna's rank has dropped a great deal as a result of her injury and the resulting lack of play. Seems to me that she would be better off playing at a different Tier II tournament than this one (with Venus and Monica) or at a smaller tournament to increase her rank points and get more match play while playing fewer events. Isn't there another Tier II tournament around that she could play in? Good for her if she gets far at Dubai or wins, but it would be a shame to go out early especially if there was event with less competition.

Mattographer
Jan 30th, 2002, 07:10 PM
Originally posted by TheBoiledEgg
Alex ..... Rachel is in Memphis that week

Anna being there might bring in some locals, normally its 90% Expats who come and watch along with a few sheikhs
Actually, she commited Dubai as well! You can see her name in qualifying at Michael Blue's site :) I hope she play Dubai if they give her for WC! :p

TatiAnnahølic
Jan 30th, 2002, 09:35 PM
Go ANNA for your first title in Dubai!!!!!:p :bounce:

Martian Martin
Jan 31st, 2002, 04:14 AM
Good luck Anna, as always let's hope for a good draw! :)