The 26 year old Dane, Caroline Wozniacki seeks to put behind her a disappointing, even tame by her own standards, defeat at the hands of Johanna Konta at this year's Australian Open, as she returns to WTA hard court tennis action in Qatar.

The withdrawal of the dangerous Kuznetsova and last year's grittily determined winner: Carla Suárez Navarro - means that Wozniacki will seek to advantage by making amends for her slow start to the season and disappointing Grand Slam performance, by winning her 26th WTA title and building towards securing that elusive first grand slam title.

Karolina Pliskova and number 1 seed: Angelique Kerber are obstacles in the way of the amiable Dane and a confidence boosting title, but neither are in the best form of their lives and Wozniacki has beaten Kerber 5 times before.

However, she does trail in the head to head 8-5. Kerber, will represent a tough nut to crack as she seeks to regain ground on an absent Serena Williams, to reclaim the world number 1 spot.

Looking forwards

In a career that has had a mixture of highs and lows, being world number 1 in 2010 an example of the former - Wozniacki is desperate to add a Grand Slam title to her list of tennis accolades. A return to the hard court at the end of the season for the US Open 2017, represents her best chance of doing so.

Therefore, Caroline will be super keen to secure a hard court title early on this season. Qatar seems the perfect place for her do this.

1st Round Opponent - Mona Barthel

First up for Wozniacki, is 26 year old German, Mona Barthel. Wozniacki holds a 3-0 head to head record over the German, who was conspicuously absent from the country's Hopman Cup defeat against USA recently.

This tie was controversial because of the old German anthem that was played by the American hosts. That said, Barthel represents a tricky first round opponent, who pushed Karolina Pliskova hard in a three set defeat in Doha recently.

Don't be surprised if this match also goes the same distance, but the now wily Wozniacki should, ultimately, have too much class for her opponent.