December 19, 2019
World No. 1 Rafa Nadal, World No. 2 Novak Djokovic and five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova joined forces today to prove why the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, which runs until December 21, is ‘the best’ in regional tennis.
Swapping the hardcourts of Abu Dhabi’s International Tennis Centre at Zayed Sports City for the natural white sand beaches of Saadiyat Island, the trio were challenged to knock down seven giant letters spelling ‘THE BEST’ using only 36 balls, or 12 each – a nod to the 12th edition of the Arabian Gulf’s most intimate tennis experience.
Sharapova was the first to find her range, knocking over the first letter with a crunching forehand. The global superstar’s shot inspired the trio, who have amassed a collective 40 Grand Slam titles between them, to blast through the remaining six letters with a few balls to spare.
As hundreds of beachgoers clapped the players on, Nadal, Djokovic and Sharapova then posed for photos alongside a giant 3D installation spelling #InAbuDhabi, before conducting media duties ahead of the opening day’s action in the UAE capital.