Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams to Miss WTA Abu Dhabi, Sofia Kenin and Elina Svitolina to Lead Draw

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December 26, 2020 9:03 am

Along with the new year, the tennis world will also welcome the 2021 Abu Dhabi Women’s Tennis Open. For its first edition as a WTA 500 tournament, the event has a starry line up in place. However, American Serena Williams and Japanese Naomi Osaka will not grace the 2021 WTA Tour opening tournament.

The second-best player in women’s tennis, Simona Halep, has withdrawn her name as well.

American Sofia Kenin and Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina are the two top seeds in Abu Dhabi after these pull-outs. The tournament will see four Top 10 players along with other 60 players competing for 500 points from January 5th.

Serena Williams, Osaka, Halep out for Abu Dhabi Open

PARIS, FRANCE September 28. Serena Williams of the United States in action against Kristie Ahn of the United States in the first round of the Women’s Singles competition on Court Philippe-Chatrier during the French Open Tennis Tournament at Roland Garros on September 28th 2020 in Paris, France. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Serena Williams is laser focused on the Grand Slam tournaments and is expected to start her season at the Australian Open 2021. At 39, Serena wants to win one more Slam to equal Margaret Court’s all-time major titles record. Therefore, in line with her goals for 2021, she cut out the Abu Dhabi Open. Experts still claim that it is difficult to stay away from injury at her advanced age.

The reigning US Open champion Naomi Osaka will look to reclaim her throne at Melbourne Park. The 3 time Grand Slam champion is more mindful of our calendar now, and her top priority will be to become the world’s best player again.

Simona Halep, on the other hand, will start her season with a WTA 500 tournament in Australia.

Read More: Serena Williams Admits She is ‘Still Playing’ to Break Margaret Court’s Grand Slam Record

Williams out, then who all are in?

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 24: Coco Gauff of the United States celebrates after winning match point during her Women’s Singles third round match against Naomi Osaka of Japan day five of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 24, 2020, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

With some big names missing out on 2021’s first tournament, the other contenders will receive much-needed attention. Former World No. 1 Karolina Pliskova is seeded third in the competition. The list continues with Aryna Sabalenka, who was the winner of the last two WTA tournaments, and World No. 12 Belinda Bencic.

Two time Grand Slam winner Garbine Muguruza and 2017 French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko are also in the list. Along with them, the 2 time Grand Slam winner Svetlana Kuznetsova will also grace the tennis court. Coco Gauff, Elena Rybakina, Elise Mertens and Marketa Vondrousova are among the young talents at the event.

Read More: Sofia Kenin To Partner Belinda Bencic at Australian Open 2021

The capital city of the United Arab Emirates is more than happy to welcome tennis during such tiring times. For the first time, Dubai will hold the Women’s Qualifiers for the opening Grand Slam of the year.

Also Read: Sofia Kenin, Naomi Osaka and Others Leave Serena Williams Behind in On-Court Earnings in 2020

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