Saudi Arabia’s Yara Al-Hogbani set for Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open bow

ABU DHABI: World No. 6 Ons Jabeur and Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka will compete in the doubles at the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open, which begins on Saturday, after being awarded a wild card.

Hosted by Mubadala and presented by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, the WTA 500 event returns to the International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City, for its second edition, running from Feb. 3 to 11.

A star-studded singles lineup includes eight of the world’s top 20, with Elena Rybakina, Maria Sakkari and Barbora Krejcikova all competing for the title, alongside wild card entrants Osaka and Emma Raducanu, winner of the 2021 US Open.

While the singles competition will undoubtedly generate huge interest, eyes will also turn to the doubles because Jabeur, a fan favorite and Grand Slam finalist, will partner four-time Grand Slam winner and former world No. 1 Osaka for the first time.

While both players are more commonly known for their singles careers, Osaka has competed in the women’s doubles at all four Grand Slam tournaments, while Jabeur has played in the US Open, Australian Open and Wimbledon.

Jabeur previously partnered 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams at Eastbourne in 2022, where the duo reached the semifinals before being forced to withdraw after the Tunisian picked up an injury.

The Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open doubles competition begins on Monday Feb. 5.

Jabeur, meanwhile, will begin her pursuit of singles glory at the event on Wednesday, Feb. 7.

While her opponent will not be revealed until the tournament draw takes place on Saturday, the date of her first appearance in the competition is confirmed, subject to the final WTA schedule.

Last week it was announced that Osaka, a champion at both the US Open and Australian Open on two separate occasions, would be joining the main draw in Abu Dhabi having been awarded a wild card.