Game, Set, No Match

Caroline Wozniacki has said an injury is preventing her from playing in the Dubai tennis tournament but raised eyebrows when she said she will play at the Qatar Total Open this Friday. LEILA HATOUM

By Leila Hatoum

It seems that illness, injury and plastic surgery are the “get out of jail” cards for tennis players due to participate in regional and international tennis tournaments.

With top seeded players such as Serena Williams, Angekique Kerber, Lucie Safarova, Sabine Lisicki, Caroline Wozniacki and Agnieszka Radwanska withdrawing from the upcoming Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship, one can’t help but wonder if the world’s tennis superstars have been hit with the evil eye.

The number one ranked tennis player in women’s singles, Serena Williams, withdrew from this week’s Doha tournament citing flu.

Wozniacki, who addressed a press meet on Thursday seated comfortably with her legs crossed, has said her knee injury has prevented her from competing in next week’s Dubai tournament. However, she added that she planned to fly to Doha Friday to participate in the Qatar Total Open. Wozniacki is ranked 19th at the moment and seeded 13th at the Qatar match.

Wozniacki, was under investigation by the tennis authorities in 2009 when she withdrew from her first-round match in the Luxembourg Open—after she was ahead in the game—following advice from her coach.

Wozniacki told Newsweek Middle East that the weather in Dubai has a “positive impact” on her game.

The tennis star attributed her skills in the game to her father who encouraged her to play the sport when she was a child and dreamt of playing soccer.

She cited former world tennis champions the Swiss national Martina Hingis and German national Steffi Graff, as her role models among female players, but admitted to Newsweek Middle East that she had no role model among her contemporaries.

“I don’t really think I have anyone especially on the women’s [side] at this time since I am competing as well,” she said, adding that she enjoys watching men’s tennis especially when Roger Federer is playing. “I enjoy watching Federer and learning from him, he’s incredible.”

The Danish tennis play, who has not won a title this year, also advised traveling athletes on how to beat jetlag: by sleeping aboard planes, drinking “a lot of water,” and once again having proper meal on time.

“I eat dinner at dinner time in the country I am in, even if I don’t feel like it,” she said.

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