December 17, 2021
Andy Murray served up a treat for fans on Day 2 of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, swapping the court for the kitchen in an entertaining cook-off with Belinda Bencic.
As Olympic champions the pair can stand the heat of battle on court, but their skills were tested on the live cooking stage as they joined top chefs from Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island, to prepare a dish of Steamed Alaskan King Crab with Beluga Caviar.
Cheered on by Championship MC Marcos Baghdatis and culinary captains Chef Catay and Chef Okan, Murray and Bencic were given 20 minutes to prepare their dishes.
Two-time MWTC champion Murray, who took time out of preparing for his blockbuster semi-final with Rafa Nadal to take to the stage, drew laughter from an enthralled crowd when he revealed he had only first tried cooking during lockdown last year.
Bencic delivered the perfect drop shot during the contest by revealing she feels just as much at home in the kitchen as well as on court and enjoys making brownies and cheesecakes. The revelation drew cheers from the crowd and looks of disbelief from a competitive Murray, as Swiss star Bencic was declared the winner.
FREESTYLE SECRETS AND ADVICE FROM THE STARS
Day 2 in the MWTC Tennis Village was an epic day of interactive activities with star player clinics, Q&As and more. Former tennis star Baghdatis, who himself played at MWTC 10 years ago, teamed up with renowned freestyler Stefan Bojic to share some top tricks and advice with the Mubadala World Tennis Championship ball kids.
Baghdatis, who is now playing on the ATP Champions Tour, put the youngsters through various tennis drills and offered some inspirational tips. The 2006 Australian Open finalist said: “The session with the ball kids was really lovely, it’s clear they love tennis, and it was a lot of fun for me. Some of them are playing quite well; if they train diligently and correctly, they will be able to compete at a high level in the future.”
Meanwhile, Bojic gave the youngsters insight into his expert routine, using all parts of his racket, and body, to keep the ball in the air.
He said: “Sharing my tricks with the kids is a passion of mine. I’m not protective, I want to share and have more people doing this.”