Aryna Sabalenka set to continue Australian Open celebrations for second straight year, withdraws from Qatar Open return

Saturday, 03 February 2024 at 09:54
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After the news that Jessica Pegula would miss the Middle East swing, Aryna Sabalenka too won't likely make her return until the earliest Dubai or the Sunshine Double albeit for differing reasons than injury seemingly.
Sabalenka was due to play the Qatar Open which stars on Sunday, February 11 in Doha, but it is the second consecutive year that she has skipped the WTA 1000 tournament which she won in 2020 owing likely to a similar reason as last year where she also won the Australian Open.
The former World No.1 decided then to continue her Australian Open celebrations and postpone her return to the court. Instead it will be Iga Swiatek, Coco Gauff, Elena Rybakina and Ons Jabeur who will headline the line-up. Rybakina in particular will play all three tournaments in Abu Dhabi, Doha and Dubai and is already in the latter practicing with Karen Khachanov.
Sabalenka is also entered into the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, but it remains to be seen whether she will play or return during the US swing. There will be hope solely as unlike Pegula, Sabalenka has only withdrawn from one tournament. Peyton Stearns this time was the beneficiary who gets into the main draw alongside Mirra Andreeva due to the two withdrawals with the WTA 1000 tournaments meaning cut throat qualifying tournaments are also set featuring a lot of big names who sit on the cusp. But for Stearns and Andreeva, they won't have to go through that this time.

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