Ireland’s Celine Simunyu eyes Top 100 WTA rankings after making history in Dubai

The teenage prodigy became the first Irish female player to receive a wildcard for the qualifying rounds of a WTA event

By Team KT

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Celine Simunyu in action at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium. - Supplied photo
Celine Simunyu in action at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium. - Supplied photo

Published: Fri 16 Feb 2024, 8:06 PM

Teenage prodigy Celine Simunyu has set her sights on reaching the top 100 of the WTA rankings after becoming the first Irish female player to receive a wildcard for the qualifying rounds of a WTA event.

Simunyu, the number one ranked Irish women’s tennis player, put in a valiant display on Court 7 at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium as she was beaten 6-0 6-3 by Moldovan-born Spanish professional player Cristina Bucsa, the World No. 61, on Friday afternoon.


Currently ranked 633 in the WTA rankings, Simunyu intends to make a big impression on the WTA Tour – and sooner rather than later.

Speaking after her maiden appearance at the tournament, the 19-year-old said: “It was so exciting to come and play in Dubai. The overall experience was great.


Simunyu intends to make a big impression on the WTA Tour. - Instagram
Simunyu intends to make a big impression on the WTA Tour. - Instagram

“It was a proud moment representing my country and making history. This is just the start. My target is to get into the women’s top 100.

“I am working very hard towards this target and hope to achieve it in the near future.”

The 2024 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships men’s tournament is preceded by the 24th edition of the annual WTA event – recently awarded permanent WTA 1000 status - which will continue to take place one week before the ATP event.

The women’s competition will run between February 18 and 24, before the 32nd staging of the ATP Tour 500 tournament from February 26 to March 2.

Moldovan-born Spanish professional player Cristina Bucsa. - Instagram
Moldovan-born Spanish professional player Cristina Bucsa. - Instagram

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The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is owned and organised by Dubai Duty Free and held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Tickets for both the women’s WTA tournament and the men’s ATP event remain available to purchase at www.dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com.


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