Saudi’s first female professional awarded wild card for qualifiers at tournament
Philippines’ Alexandra Eala added to main draw
Grand Slam-winner Naomi Osaka confirmed as wild card entrant earlier this week
Tickets for the all-female competition on sale now
January 24, 2024 – Abu Dhabi, UAE: The start of the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open is just around the corner and three additional wild cards have now been announced, with Saudi Arabia’s Yara Alhogbani and Japan’s Ena Koike entering the qualifiers, while Philippines’ Alexandra Eala will participate in the main draw at the second instalment of the tournament.
This year’s competition takes place at the International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City, on February 3-11, featuring a star-studded line-up including the likes of Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina, Greece’s Maria Sakkari and Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejčíková.
With Grand Slam-winners Naomi Osaka and Emma Raducanu, along with fan favourite Ons Jabeur, also competing, fans can look forward to watching many of the world’s best female players challenge for glory at the WTA 500 event.
Having turned professional at the age of 14, Alhogbani became the first-ever Saudi Arabian woman to win a professional tennis event in 2022, defeating Tamara Ermakova to claim the J5 Isa Town tournament in Bahrain.
The 19-year-old said: “I’m very happy to have been awarded a wild card for the qualifiers at this year’s Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open and I’m looking forward to testing myself against some great players.
“It’s so pleasing to see these types of tournaments take place in the Middle East and I’m sure it will be another exciting competition.”
Koike, a quarter-finalist at the 2023 US Open junior singles tournament, said: “I’m very excited about competing at the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open, it’s a great opportunity to be part of such a prestigious event.”
Eala, a three-time junior Grand Slam-winner, will join a fiercely talented main draw, alongside some of the world’s top players.
The 17-year-old secured her first junior singles prize at the 2022 US Open having previously won doubles titles at both the French Open and Australian Open.
She said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for me to participate in a big competition and gain additional experience at the highest level.
“At this stage of my career, I need to test myself against the best players, and I can’t wait to play in front of the UAE tennis fans.”
Nigel Gupta, Tournament Director at the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open, added: “With the tournament now less than two weeks away, we are really pleased to announce Alexandra, Yara and Ena, three talented young players, as part of the event.
“It’s important for us to showcase not only the leading players in the world right now, but also some aspiring talents, and I’m sure fans attending will enjoy watching all three players perform.”