Illness forces Serena Williams out of Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

Simona Halep is seeded No1 for the 2016 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships following the late withdrawal of Serena Williams due to illness. Defending champion Halep has been handed a first round bye alongside Garbine Muguruza, Carla Suarez Navarro and 2013 winner Petra Kvitova. Ten of the world's top 20 are competing, with tie of the opening round pairing former world No1 Jelena Jankovic with the rising star of the women’s game, Belinda Bencic.

Jelena Jankovic

Last year's beaten finalist, Karolina Pliskova, meets Coco Vandeweghe in another exciting first round match-up. World No1 Williams was forced to withdraw from the tournament on Friday due to illness. Fellow fans favourites Caroline Wozniacki and Agnieska Radwanska had earlier pulled out due to injury.

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