Rising stars of tennis join 14-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic, defending champion Kevin Anderson and seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams.
World number seven and French Open finalist, Dominic Thiem, Australian Open semi-finalist Hyeon Chung and winner of three ATP World Tour titles, Karen Khachanov, will join the star-studded line-up at the 11th edition of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship (MWTC).
The competition is set to be intense as the three players will be joined by 14-time Grand Slam Champion and recent Shanghai Masters winner Novak Djokovic. Also, joining them is defending MWTC champion Kevin Anderson and seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams.
The Championship which is set to take place from 27th – 29th December 2018 at the International Tennis Centre at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi, will feature six of the top male players and two leading female players in what is set to be an action-packed three days as the world’s top players fight it out to lay their hands on the coveted trophy.
Leading the charge for the ‘young brigade’ at this year’s Championship is 25-year-old Dominic Thiem. The Austrian, who made his debut in Abu Dhabi in 2017, went on to have a strong year reaching his first Grand Slam final at Roland Garros.
Thiem, who has the unique distinction of becoming the only player to defeat Nadal on clay since Djokovic in 2016, said: “I can’t wait to return to Abu Dhabi this year. I especially enjoyed being involved with the kid’s clinics last year which was such a great feeling. I’m really looking forward to sharing my experiences with them again and playing in the Championship will help me get back into rhythm for the 2019 season.”
Making his debut appearance in the Capital is Next Gen ATP title holder South Korean Hyeon Chung. The 22-year-old who began playing tennis to improve his eyesight has won more than 70% of his matches on the ATP Challenger Tour, ITF Futures Circuit and ITF Junior Circuit. He earned his biggest career win over world number four Alexander Zverev and upset six-time champion Djokovic en route to the Australian Open semifinal.
Chung said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be coming to Abu Dhabi and to play against some of the biggest players in the world. This will be a real test of my game and will help me immensely for the 2019 season. I look forward to an exciting tournament and meeting the wonderful people of the UAE.”
Another Next-Gen star, Karen Khachanov, will be joining Chung in Abu Dhabi. The 22-year-old Khachanov is one of the youngest players in the game and has improved his year-end ranking for four straight seasons between 2014-17. The 6’6” Russian equalled his career-best win over world number nine John Isner on his way to his first ATP Masters 1000 semifinals in Toronto. Khachanov is the first player who competed in last year’s inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan and went on to win two ATP World Tour titles.
Commenting on his maiden appearance in Abu Dhabi he said: “Playing at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship is a dream come true. I am really proud to be selected amongst such a world-class line-up and am looking forward to playing against some of the best players on the circuit.”
John Lickrish, CEO of FLASH Entertainment, said: “Dominic Thiem, Hyeon Chung and Karen Khachanov represent the next-generation of players and we are absolutely thrilled to have them play in Abu Dhabi. These talented young players are certainly going to mix things up over the three days – and we can’t wait to see them compete in just over a few months. It’s certainly warming up to be a very exciting tournament!”
In addition to all the on-court action, there’s plenty of action off-court as well. The Tennis Village returns once again and has a packed schedule of activities across all three days of the tournament. Tennis fans and their families will enjoy themed experiences including:
- Day One: Love. Kids. Free entry for children (age 2-12) with the purchase of an adult ticket*
- Day Two: Love. Foodies. A food extravaganza with live cooking stations and culinary specialities from around the world
- Day Three: Love. Ladies. An elegant ladies day celebrating fashion, sports and healthy living
The MWTC offers its spectators the equivalent of a Grand Slam quarter-final and is widely recognised as the first tournament leading into the Australian Open and is played on similar surface and weather conditions.
Tickets to the hugely popular event are priced from AED 100 and can be purchased from www.ticketmaster.ae or by calling 800 86 823 from within the UAE or +971 4 366 2289 from outside the country and all Virgin Megastores. Fans looking to attend all three days of the Championship can avail of a special 20% discount on ticket prices.