World number two Simona Halep has been added to the stellar line-up for the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship later this month.
The Romanian is the latest big name to be confirmed for the tournament which begins on February 19, where she will hope for a repeat of her victory in the UAE three years ago.
Halep will face a tough challenge to lift the title as Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza, defending Dubai champion Elina Svitolina, two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova and five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova are all taking part, while the likes of Angelique Kerber, Madison Keys, Karolina Pliskova, Kristina Mladenovic and Ashleigh Barty will also fancy their chances of success.
Halep was beaten by Caroline Wozniacki in the Australian Open final last month and Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship tournament director Salah Tahlak is pleased to have the 26-year-old on board for the event.
'We are delighted to welcome Simona Halep back to Dubai,' she said. 'There are few players who can match her tenacity and skill, but she is sure to be stretched to the limit by a player field that features not only seven of the top 10, but a total of five players who have been ranked world No 1 and four who have won grand slam titles.
'It will be very exciting to see how she deals with the challenge.'