Caroline Wozniacki hoping to secure first title of 2012

Caroline Wozniacki is preparing for a double celebration. The 21-year-old Dane hopes to secure her first title of the year here at the Dubai Duty Free Championships and believes she is also on course to win a bet she has struck with her boyfriend, Rory McIlroy.

Victoria Azarenka has pulled out

Victoria Azarenka pulls out of the Dubai Duty Free Championships

Victoria Azarenka has won all her 17 matches this year, but the season is already taking its toll on the new world No 1. Having injured an ankle en route to winning the Qatar Open last weekend, the Australian Open champion today pulled out of the Dubai Duty Free Championships here just hours before she was due to play her first match, against Julia Goerges.

Shahar Peer was once refused entry but impressed organisers in 2010 and 2011

Diplomatic solution as Peer receives wild card into Dubai event

The very idea of an organisation here in the United Arab Emirates choosing to invite an Israeli to take part in a sporting event is highly improbable, given that there are no diplomatic relations between the two countries. The idea of such an invitation being extended to an Israeli once at the centre of a furore that threatened the future of one of the UAE's most important competitions might have seemed even more unlikely – but exactly that scenario is being played out here at this week's Dubai Duty Free Championships.

Wozniacki has been No 1 for 67 of last 68 weeks but is yet to win a Slam event

Cold comfort for Wozniacki as battle to take over top spot heats up

It would hardly have felt like consolation at the time, but at least Caroline Wozniacki could take one positive from her 6-3, 7-6 defeat by Kim Clijsters in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open yesterday. The 21-year-old Dane's exit from the tournament means that, for the moment at least, she will not have to answer questions about whether she deserves to be world No 1 when she has yet to win a Grand Slam tournament.

Caroline Wozniacki goes through to the fourth round

Caroline Wozniacki edges closer to retaining world No 1 spot with routine win

Caroline Wozniacki again attempted to play down the significance of her number one ranking despite edging closer to retaining top spot with a routine win over Monica Niculescu at the Australian Open today.

Victoria Azarenka in a hurry at Australian Open

Victoria Azarenka led a quintet of leading players in cruising into the second round of the Australian Open today.

Defending Australian Open champion Kim Clijsters plays down injury concerns

Kim Clijsters today shrugged off any concerns over a hip injury and declared herself "ready to go" as she prepares to defend her Australian Open crown.

Murray goes for four on the trot in Basle

Britain's Andy Murray will attempt to continue his autumn winning run in Roger Federer's hometown tournament of Basle next week. Murray (right), who has just replaced the Swiss at No 3 in the world rankings after winning his last three tournaments, has taken a wild card into the tournament. A highly competitive field includes Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick, Mardy Fish and Tomas Berdych.

Kim Clijsters crashes out of French Open

Kim Clijsters blamed a loss of confidence for her shock second-round defeat by Arantxa Rus at the French Open today.

Open champion Schiavone again struggles to get a grip with clay

It's been nearly a year since Francesca Schiavone dropped down to kiss the clay court following her memorable French Open victory.

Kim Clijsters out of Miami after losing 'fighting spirit'

Kim Clijsters admitted she ran out of "fighting spirit" as she lost to Victoria Azarenka in the quarter-finals of the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami.

Caroline Wozniacki returns to No 1 slot

At the start of this week Caroline Wozniacki was expressing relief at no longer having to comment on whether she deserved to be world No 1 given that she has never won a Grand Slam title. Come Monday the 20-year-old Dane will be bracing herself for another round of questions along the same lines. Wozniacki's 6-2, 6-4 victory here yesterday over Shahar Peer in the quarter-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Championships ensured that she will return to the top in next week's updated rankings list, just seven days after being overtaken by Kim Clijsters.

Kim Clijsters sets up semi-final with Vera Zvonareva

Kim Clijsters is confident of producing the improved performance she feels is required to beat Vera Zvonareva in the Australian Open semi-finals tomorrow.

Hawk-eyed Sharapova sets up rematch

Maria Sharapova has reached the last 16, but on the evidence of this match – against a dogged unseeded opponent – she will have to up her game when she meets the defending champion, Serena Williams, in the next round. The Russian is recovering her form after the shoulder surgery in 2008 that necessitated the rebuilding of her serve, but had a stuttering start to her match against the Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova and opened with a double fault.

Baltacha rallies to avoid 6-0, 6-0, but still slides out

When Elena Baltacha lost the first set to Agnieszka Radwanska without winning a game yesterday she recalled the experience here last year of her predecessor as British No 1, Anne Keothavong, who was beaten 6-0, 6-0 by Dinara Safina.

Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Career Services

Day In a Page

A
Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea