Spanish superstar Rafael Nadal has served up brilliant news for sports lovers – after announcing he will defend his crown at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships in Abu Dhabi this December.
The record-smashing ten-time French Open winner, fresh off his latest Roland Garros triumph, will end 2017 in style by headlining stellar field at the milestone 10th annual edition of the lucrative tournament.
The six-man event is a traditional warm-up event for the first Grand Slam of the Year, the Australian Open, and has seen some of the biggest names in the game grace the court in Abu Dhabi, including the big four of tennis, Swiss maestro Roger Federer, Serbian star Novak Djokovic, Britain’s best Andy Murray and Nadal himself.
Fifteen-time major champion Nadal will be gunning for a hat-trick of victories at Zayed Sport City when the action gets underway on Thursday December 28.
Tickets have gone on sale today for the three-day sporting spectacular, which will also see big-hitting former Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic and rising talent Dominic Thiem battling it out for glory.
To celebrate the landmark tenth edition, organiser FLASH Entertainment, in partnership with Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi based investment and development company, is releasing tickets starting from just an incredible Dhs100 for adults and just Dhs50 for children.
Those who purchase a ticket in the first ten days will be entered into daily draws to win prizes including signed merchandise from this year’s and past MWTC players, star player clinic spots and the chance to meet their favourite player and carry their bag out alongside them on court.
Sell-out crowds of over 5,000 fans are expected to pack the International Tennis Center throughout the event, while a big schedule of events are in the pipeline off-court at the Tennis Village.
Nadal says he is "extremely excited" to be making his ninth appearance at the showpiece Abu Dhabi championship.
The current World Number Two said: “I am extremely excited to play in the Mubadala World Tennis Championship again later this year. This tournament is very important to me as it is not only the tenth edition and my ninth appearance, but I will also be defending my title. I am very proud to be part of this great event and I know it will be a really enjoyable and challenging tournament as always.”
As always, in the unique "winner takes all" format of the MWTC, the victor will claim US$250,000 in prize money (Dhs918,000).
John Lickrish, CEO of FLASH Entertainment, who launched the tournament in 2008 said:“To be celebrating the tenth landmark edition of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship this year is something FLASH are truly proud of. We bring a tournament format that is completely unique to the UAE, where tennis fans can enjoy watching the world’s best players battle it out, and families and friends can come together for a great day out to lap up the excitement both on and off court. Over the past nine editions we have seen 125,000 fans come and join us in Abu Dhabi, which goes to show its popularity here. With Nadal, Raonic and Thiem already lined up, this year will certainly be another thrilling event.”
Anyone for tennis? Yes, please.