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Announcement: Sunday, 5 March 2017 matches start at 5.30pm.

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Tennis fans are in for a treat as Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas will be making a comeback after a seven-month absence.

Tennis fans are in for a treat as Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas will be making a comeback after a seven-month absence from the WTA Tour in the ALYA Malaysian Open from February 27th to March 5th at TPC Kuala Lumpur.

Zarina suffered an injury to her right wrist in the first round of Wimbledon and subsequently had a surgery. And as a result, her ranking dropped 75 rungs to World 174 following her long absence from the circuit.

Zarina made an unsuccessful return to tennis in an ITF tournament in Nanjing, China, where she was ousted in the first round on Monday. The baseliner, who achieved her career high ranking of World No 31 in 2015, will be eager to make baby steps towards returning to her best in Kuala Lumpur.

The ALYA Malaysian Open is one of Zarina’s favourite tournaments. She has made four appearances and her best show was reaching the quarter-finals in 2014, where she took Slovak Dominika Cibulkova to three sets before exiting. Zarina is not only known for her tennis. The beautiful lass has many admirers and she will be among those who will be grabbing attention when the first round starts on Monday.

Zarina is among the top eight players in the tournament, led by World No 13 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, who will be defending her women’s singles title.

For the record, no player has successful defended her title in the ALYA Malaysian Open. Svitolina will be hoping to break the duck.

Svitolina is expected to face stiff competition from World No 14 Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain and 81 st -- ranked Cagla Buyukakcay of Turkey, who was a quarter-finalist in 2016.

Asia’s challenge will come from China’s Wang Qiang, Peng Shuai and Duan Yingying along with former champion Hsieh Su Wei of Taiwan. Su Wei is the only Asian player to have won the ALYA Malaysian Open.

The tournament starts tomorrow with the qualifying round, where 24 players will be vying for eight spots to the main draw.

Malaysia will be represented by Jawairiah Noorin and S. Theiviya in the qualifying round.

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