Tournament History

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The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships began life as the Dubai Men’s Open back in 1993, a year in which Karel Novacek won the singles and the pairing of Anders Jarryd/John Fitzgerald the doubles.

Since that tournament almost nineteen years ago, the Championships has continued to go from strength to strength.

The roll call of players in both the men’s and women’s tournaments (the latter of which began in 2001) reads like a ‘who’s who’ of tennis stars – Goran Ivanisevic, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Martina Hingis, Amelie Mauresmo and Justine Henin have all taken part.

As we celebrate the 21st anniversary this year, we look at some of the press highlights that have taken place at the Dubai Tennis Stadium.

1993

Czech Karel Novacek wins the singles title, with the Australian-Swedish pairing of Jarryd/John Fitzgerald claiming the inaugural doubles title.

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1994

Swede Magnus Gustaffson defeated clay court specialist, Sergi Brugera in the final of the second Dubai Tennis Championships. Mark Woodford & Todd Woodbridge, who later went on to become a legendary doubles partnership, were crowned the second winners of the doubles championships.

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1995

South African Wayne Ferreira won the singles title, defeating Italian Andrea Gaudenzi 6-3, 6-3 in the final. Later in his career, Ferreira went on to hold the record for the most consecutive Grand Slam appearances in men’s tennis, competing in 56 consecutive Grand Slams between 1991 and 2004.

This record was later broken by dynamic Frenchman Fabrice Santoro – another winner of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

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1996

The charismatic Croat Goran Ivanisevic won the fourth Dubai Men’s title. Ivanisevic later went on to win the Wimbledon Men’s title in 2001 before retiring three years later.

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1997

Thomas Muster, known as “the King of Clay” won the Dubai title the same month as he staked his place as the ATP World No.1. Muster defeated the reigning Dubai champion, Goran Ivanisevic in two close sets in the final.

Ivanisevic, however, bettered his singles final appearance by winning the doubles title with partner Sander Groen. The pairing beat Sandon Stolle and Cyril Suk in the final.

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1998

Alex Corretja became the first Spaniard to claim the Dubai singles mantle, dismissing compatriot Felix Mantilla in straight sets in the final.

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1999

Frenchman Jerome Golmard defeated Nicolas Kiefer at the expense of only six games to win the singles crown.

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2000

The previous year’s finalist, Nicolas Kiefer, fared better this year by winning the title with a tight three-set win over Juan Carlos Ferrero in the final.

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2001

Spaniard star and former World No.1 Juan Carlos Ferrero reversed the trend of losing in the previous year’s final by capturing the Dubai Men’s title by defeating Marat Safin 6-2, 3-1 (retired).

2001 was also the inaugural Dubai Women’s Open. Swiss star and then 20-year-old Martina Hingis beat Natalie Tauziat in the final.

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2002

Fabrice Santoro, best known for his impressive arsenal of trick shots, made his way through the draw to win the Men’s draw, defeating the Moroccan Younes El Aynaoui – the first Arab to play a title match at the Dubai Tennis Championships - in a tight final.

Amelie Mauresmo, who has recently announced her retirement from the sport, made it a successful tournament for the French players, by winning the second-ever Dubai WTA tournament. The former Australian Open and Wimbledon Champion beat fellow French Sandrine Testud to win the title.

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2003

The mighty Roger Federer won the first of his four Dubai singles titles this year, by beating Czech Jiri Novak in the final.

Belgian Justine Henin-Hardenne also won the first of her four Dubai titles this year, defeating former WTA World No.1 Monica Seles in a tightly-fought final.

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2004

Roger Federer and Justine Henin-Hardenne both defended their singles titles to become the first players to win two Dubai titles.

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2005

Roger Federer made it a hat-trick of Dubai titles by beating Croat Ivan Ljubicic in a three-set final.

In the Women’s week, Lindsay Davenport became the first American to win the title with a deciding set victory over then rising star Jelena Jankovic from Serbia.

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2006

Rafael Nadal claimed the men’s title from Roger Federer whilst Justine Henin-Hardenne won back the women’s trophy from 2005 winner Lindsay Davenport.

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2007

Roger Federer reiterated his love of playing in at the Dubai Tennis Championships by winning back the trophy from rival Rafael Nadal. The Swiss defeated Russian Mikhail Youzhny 6-4, 6-3 in the final.

The Belgian, now Justine Henin also lifted the WTA trophy for the fourth time beating former champion Amelie Mauresmo in two close sets.

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2008

Popular American and former Grand Slam winner, Andy Roddick won his first ATP Dubai Men’s title in the newly-named Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships.

Russian Elena Dementieva beat fellow Russian, Svetlana Kuznetsova in the WTA final to win her maiden Dubai title.

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2009

The Championships were the first to be given ‘ATP 500 points’ status. The WTA tournament also became a ‘Premier 5’ event for the first time.

Taking advantage of the eleveated status of the Championships were Venus Williams, who beat unseeded French Virginie Razzano in the WTA draw and Novak Djokovic who beat Spaniard David Ferrer in the ATP final.

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2010

The 10th anniversary of the Women’s event was marked by one of the greatest players of all time, Venus Williams, retaining her title. Meanwhile, the men’s event was able to celebrate its 18th birthday with one of the most dramatic finals in its history, as Novak Djokovic fought off a valiant challenge from Mikhail Youzhny to also retain his title. 

At the same time, the tournament celebrated yet another success after being named the 2009 ATP World Tour 500 Tournament of the Year. Remarkably, it was also the tournament’s 14th ATP award since 1993 - the tournament’s inaugural year - and the sixth time that the Dubai men’s week has won the prestigious ‘Tournament of the Year’ award.

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2011

The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships was once again a resounding success with capacity crowds, scintillating action, and entertainment second to none both on and off the court. The 2011 event, which was the 19th running of the men’s tournament and the 11th of the women’s, attracted some of the top names in the game with women’s number one and two, Caroline Wozniacki and Vera Zvonarava as well as then men’s number two and three, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic all taking part, along with the likes of former world number ones Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic and the Top 10-ranked Tomas Berdych and Mikhail Youzhny.

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2012

The 2012 Championships celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the men’s event in style, with some of the most exciting matches ever staged in Dubai. Over 100,000 spectators enjoyed two weeks of thrilling tennis, and a fortnight of entertainment and activities in the tennis village.  The event again attracted the world’s best players, with eight of the top ten men and six of the top ten women heading the line ups.

Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska took her maiden Dubai title against unseeded Julia Goerges of Germany, while Roger Federer reigned supreme for the 5th time, beating Britain’s Andy Murray who had upset World number one Novak Djokovic in a semi finals upset.

The Championships was once again honoured with the ATP 500 World Tour Tournament of the Year for 2011. This is the eighth time in the past decade that the tournament has won this award, and was a fitting way to celebrate the 20th Anniversary.

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2013

The 2013 Championships again attracted the world’s best players, with six of the top ten men and nine of the top ten women heading the line ups. At the conclusion of a thrilling two weeks of tennis, Novak Djokovic reigned supreme, taking his fourth Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships crown with a win over Czech Tomas Berdych. Berdych made his first Dubai final after defeating defending champion Roger Federer in the semi finals.

Berdych was hoping to make it a Czech Republic double after countrywoman Petra Kvitova took her maiden Dubai title, with a hard fought win over Italy’s Sara Errani.

Mahesh Bhupathi took his fifth Dubai doubles title with Michael LLodra, while Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Sania Mirza triumphed in the women’s doubles.

Over 100,000 spectators enjoyed two weeks of thrilling tennis, and a fortnight of entertainment and activities in the tennis village. The Championships was once again honoured with the ATP 500 World Tour Tournament of the Year for 2012, the ninth time in the past decade that the tournament has won this award.

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2014

The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships which celebrated its 22nd anniversary this year attracted the top tennis players in the world which saw Venus Williams, winning the ladies week, while Roger Federer won his six Dubai title.

At the end of two weeks of spectacular tennis which attracted over 115,000 spectators, two former champions again held the trophies aloft. Venus Williams won her third Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title when she convincingly triumphed over Alize Cornet. While in a sensational end to the men’s tournament Roger Federer won a remarkable sixth crown defeating Tomas Berdych in a tight tussle.

In the doubles Alla Kudryavtseva of Russia and Anastasia Rodionova of Australia defeated USA pair of Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears to claim their first Dubai title, and the men’s doubles was won by Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi over Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic.

One of the highlights of the fortnight was when the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships was awarded the ATP 500 Tournament of the Year Award for 2013, for an unprecedented and remarkable 10th time since 2003. The presentation was made on the Centre Court by defending champion Novak Djokovic and Alison Lee – ATP Executive Vice President International Group.

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