The tours remain scattered across three continents, in Asia, Europe and South America, before everyone gathers again in Miami on March 23. To prepare for the 1000-level event there, we have three different 500s to watch this week.

Dubai Duty Free Championships (ATP)

*Dubai, UAE

$2,048,855; ATP 500

Hard court

Draw is here*

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Week in Preview: Thiem leads Dubai field; Stephens returns in Acapulco

Week in Preview: Thiem leads Dubai field; Stephens returns in Acapulco

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The money will probably never run dry in Dubai; at $2 million, the purse is still substantial this year, especially by pandemic standards. But the players are a little less famous than they once were. In the past, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray were regulars in Dubai, where appearance fees are allowed. This year Murray withdrew after the birth of his fourth child; Federer withdrew after testing the competitive waters in Doha and deciding he needed more practice time; and Djokovic is busy counting his weeks at No. 1 before he returns at the Miami Open.

That leaves Dominic Thiem as the top seed, followed by Andrey Rublev, Denis Shapovalov and Roberto Bautista Agut. If you’re looking for suspense, it may be Rublev who provides it: He’s going for his fifth straight title at a 500-level event.

Opening-round matches to watch: Marton Fuscsovics vs. Vasek Pospisil; Taylor Fritz vs. Nikoloz Basilashvili

Abierto Mexicano Telcel Presented by HSBC (ATP)

*Acapulco, Mexico

$1,204,960; ATP 500

Hard court

Draw is here*

Week in Preview: Thiem leads Dubai field; Stephens returns in Acapulco

Week in Preview: Thiem leads Dubai field; Stephens returns in Acapulco

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It has been reported that defending champion Rafael Nadal dropped out of Acapulco in part because the tournament couldn’t meet his appearance-fee asking price of $400,000. But the event has landed a couple of Top 10 stars in Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev, who are the No. 1 and 2 seeds. They’re followed by a solid field that includes Diego Schwartzman, Milos Raonic, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Grigor Dimitrov. One player not in attendance is Nick Kyrgios, the 2019 champion.

Wild card to watch: Sebastian Korda

First-round matches to watch: Raonic vs. Tommy Paul; Auger-Aliassime vs. Tennys Sandgren

St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy (WTA)

*St. Petersburg, Russia

$565,530; WTA 500

Indoor hard court

Draw is here*

Week in Preview: Thiem leads Dubai field; Stephens returns in Acapulco

Week in Preview: Thiem leads Dubai field; Stephens returns in Acapulco

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St. Petersburg has become as famous for what happens between games and during trophy ceremonies—lights! dancers! music!—as what happens in matches. We’ll see if that’s still true during the pandemic. As far as the tennis goes, we already know the tournament will look a little different this year, because it’s missing its two-time defending champion, Kiki Bertens. Instead, Ekaterina Alexandrova is the top seed, followed by Veronika Kudermetova, Fiona Ferro and Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Abierto GNP Seguros (WTA)

*Acapulco, Mexico

$235,238; WTA 250

Hard court

Draw is here*

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Week in Preview: Thiem leads Dubai field; Stephens returns in Acapulco

Week in Preview: Thiem leads Dubai field; Stephens returns in Acapulco

The week’s only 250 takes place on the women’s side in Acapulco. Sloane Stephens is the top seed, followed by Nadia Podoroska.

First-round match to watch: Leylah Fernandez vs. CoCo Vandeweghe

Player of interest: Ann Li. The American had a semi-breakthrough run to the third round at the Australian Open. She’ll start against Arantxa Rus in Acapulco.

Week in Preview: Thiem leads Dubai field; Stephens returns in Acapulco

Week in Preview: Thiem leads Dubai field; Stephens returns in Acapulco