February 14, 2010

Serena withdraws from Dubai

Any chance of another one of those sister acts at this year's Barclays Dubai Duty Free Women's Open was blown late on Thursday after world number one Serena Williams officially announced that she won't be making the trip to Dubai due to a leg injury. For a tournament that had attracted as strong a field as any Grand Slam it meant a huge blow, especially after world number two Dinara Safina had earlier said she would not be making the trip.

And the announcement deprived the competition of a possible showdown between the two Williams — Serena and Venus. Tournament Director Salah Tahlak was left ruing Serena's withdrawal, but was realistic enough when he pointed out the depth of the field. "We still have 16 of the top 20 players in the draw," Tahlak stated.

Until the withdrawal of second-ranked Safina due to a back injury, the women's draw was arguably one of the best seen in recent times — all the top 10 women had confirmed their presence at the $2 million (Dh7.34 million) tournament, now ranked as a Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Premium event.

The younger of the two Williams has the edge over her sister with a 13-10 head-to-head record during their 23 career meetings. In 2009, the two played each other five times with Venus triumphing just once at the semifinals of the Barclays Dubai Duty Free Women's Open.

However, despite the loss of Serena, the field is still sturdy and includes Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki, the top seed here, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Victoria Azarenka, Elena Dementieva, Jelena Jankovic, Agnieszka Radwanska and the Chinese pair who made history by powering their way into the semifinals in Australia — Na Li and Jie Zheng. Hoping there will be no further injuries and withdrawals, the player line-up still looks good enough for a healthy and competitive tournament with Venus trying to defend her title while an army of younger players challenge her.

- Article courtesy of Alaric Gomes, Senior Reporter (Gulf News)


monika said...

This is actually no surprise to me, since she was heavily bandaged during AO open. She's probably recuperating to get ready for clay courts.

Anonymous said...

This is off the subject. I have no way of getting a message to Serena and Venus.
The following was on Venus' Twitter:
"and my assistant jess and Davide, teams, this is getting bigger. I cant believe ms price is in the draw! lol

Every1 is in on the match act. The teams r me and Esther, @bigmacviings and my sis ish, @serenajwilliams and Oracene Price, my mom! "

My message to them is we, the fans, have the right to enjoy that special match. Can it be televised. Please pass the message to them. Thank you.