Feb 10, 2013 (Menafn - Khaleej Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --Three former Grand Slam champions will continue their comeback march back to the top of the game when the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships begin in just over a week.
Ana Ivanovic, Li Na and Samantha Stosur have all experienced the glory of lifting the trophy at the end of a Grand Slam event -- one of the biggest dreams of any professional tennis player since picking up a racquet for the very first time.
To come through a gruelling two weeks of tough competition with seven victories is the ultimate challenge, but maintaining that level of intensity though can be even more demanding thereafter.
"Samantha Stosur, Ana Ivanovic and Li Na have all proved themselves not only to be great champions at the highest level of the game, but shown courage and fortitude in fighting back from adversity," said Colm McLoughlin, executive vice chairman of tournament organisers and owners Dubai Duty Free.
"So far, none of the three have managed to win the title here, but they are all clearly a threat in what is one of the strongest fields of players ever gathered at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships."
Stosur earned her place in the history books -- and a future spot in the Australian Tennis Hall of Fame -- when, in 2011, she defeated Serena Williams in the US Open final to become the first Australian woman to win a Grand Slam since Evonne Goolagong way back in 1980.
Ivanovic swept to the 2008 French Open title for a memorable victory that briefly saw her elevated to the world number one ranking in women's tennis, while Na also prevailed on the red clay at Roland Garros two years ago.
All three competitors face a formidable challenge as strong as at any Grand Slam as they confront opponents such as defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska; Wimbledon, US Open and Olympic gold medal winner Williams; reigning world number one and Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka; former world number one and 2011 Dubai winner Caroline Wozniacki and 2011 Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova.
The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, which takes place from February 18 to March 2, is held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai. Following the WTA event, the ATP tournament kicks off on February 25th and will feature six of the top 10 men, including world number one Novak Djokovic and the reigning Dubai champion Roger Federer.
Tickets for the event are on sale from the Box Office at the Dubai Tennis Stadium in Garhoud, which is open from 9am to 9pm daily.
Grandstand ticket prices range from Dh50 for opening rounds to Dh450 for finals, with season tickets also available.
For further information about tickets, prices and the tournament, visit: http://www.dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com or phone the call centre on: 971 4 4172415.
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