November 30, 2016
Over the past two years, the Mubadala World Tennis Championship has given Stan Wawrinka the ultimate start to his season, competing against the world’s best players in Abu Dhabi. Now, as the next instalment of the competition fast approaches, the world number 4 is looking to reach a new high in the Middle East and take home the top prize at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship which starts on the 31st of December.
The Abu Dhabi tournament is renowned for bringing the best in the tennis business to battle it out over three thrilling days of competition; this year the celebrations will the run over New Year adding an extra level of excitement in the tournament’s eighth instalment. With the likes of Rafael Nadal, Milos Raonic, Kevin Anderson, David Ferrer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga all lined up, the Mubadala World Tennis Championship signifies the start of the global tennis season and often gives an early pointer to who will be the main players through the year ahead.
Case in point: Stan Wawrinka. In January 2014, he went on to win the Australian open 25 days after appearing in Abu Dhabi and has steadily risen through the rankings ever since. After competing in the Mubadala World Tennis Championship at the start of 2015, the past season has been another stellar outing for the Swiss, his best so far, capturing another four titles and being crowned French Open champion where he overcame world number 1 Novak Djokovic. The connection between a season opener in Abu Dhabi and Wawrinka’s ongoing success is clear to see.
Despite securing two majors in two years, Wawrinka still feels he has not yet reached his full potential and there is plenty left in the tank. ”You always have to believe you can win. You must believe you can be the best in the world and of course I am aiming for the top. The past few seasons have been really strong for me and there is a connection to Abu Dhabi in there for sure. I’ve been out here a number of times and have gone on to win big tournaments in the season so there is definitely a positive link.
I’ll be looking to revive that positive springboard effect this year and continue on an upward trajectory. I have many goals which I have not yet achieved and over the next season I will be working to reach them.”
Wawrinka added, “My goal for the upcoming season is to be my most successful yet. If I can do that then I am constantly moving forward. Of course I want to win more big titles but there are many good players out there and to do that will require being in the best possible place, mentally and physically. Key to that success will be a strong start to the season and the Mubadala World Tennis Championship gives me that.
The line-up is strong, I know how tough it will be to beat these guys but if I can take the trophy in Abu Dhabi then I will be really happy and yeah, winning a title on day one of the season is never going to be a bad thing.”
Although the world number 4 is showing continuous progress, he is still fine tuning that consistent form that he believes makes a word class player. Most recently Wawrinka lost to Mubadala World Tennis Championship rival Rafael Nadal in his opening match of the ATP World Tour Finals in London eventually being knocked out in the last four of the tournament.
Wawrinka will get a bye into the second day of this year’s Mubadala World Tennis Championship where he will face either of the Abu Dhabi debutants, Milos Raonic or Kevin Anderson, two players who will be looking to make an impact on their first appearances.
If the Swiss can find the superb form that he has shown on many occasions this year and overcome his first opponent, Abu Dhabi’s passionate tennis fans could be set to enjoy a thrilling final between superstars Nadal and Wawrinka.
This year’s Abu Dhabi Mubadala World Tennis Championships, will take place from the 31st December – 2nd January 2016 at the International Tennis Centre at Zayed Sports City.
For those fans who do not want to miss out on the action, tickets are available for the Mubadala World Tennis Championship at www.ticketmaster.ae and all Virgin Megastores, or by calling 800 TMUAE (86 823) or +971 4 3662289 for International calls.
GP race ticket holders can benefit from a 20% discount on Category 2 tickets for the Mubadala World Tennis Championship 2016 through the Y1 Access program.