I think the 10th Edition draw has provided a brilliant line up and some intriguing first round matches ahead. An interesting contrast in both matches, two guys who have been around the top of the game for some time both coming back from injury against two of the comparatively new kids on the block. It’s always box office tennis in this tournament with this year being no exception.
I am also very excited to see the return of such a great champion – Novak Djokovic. The game needs its biggest stars performing so for Novak to make an appearance at the Mubadala Tennis World Championship; I think sends the message that he’ll be raring to go come the official start of the 2018 calendar.
Another star is also making his comeback in the early match on day one. Stan is a multiple Gram Slam winner and was missed in the latter stages of 2017. It’s fantastic to see some of the big guys making their eagerly awaited returns during this tournament. I think it sets us up for a brilliant few days. If he comes out firing then Carreno Busta will have to be on top form to live with the Swiss.
The second match also features another player making his highly anticipated comeback. Thiem has had a good time of it this year but I think he’ll face a stern test against Raonic. He’s an experienced hand in Abu Dhabi and he’ll be hoping to leave 2017 on a positive note after an injury blighted year.
It’ll be interesting to see how Thiem and Carreno Busta both go. Both had strong years and find themselves in the top 10 but they are in the company of some of the all-time greats. I think an event like this is a wonderful experience for any player lucky enough to get an invite so I’m sure they’ll enjoy themselves and give everything they have on court to put on a good show.
I also want to mention the current MWTC champion – Rafa Nadal – and his return to world no. 1. What a wonderful story and a remarkable testament to Rafa’s character. He demonstrated unwavering resilience when everyone had all but written him off at making a return to number one. For me he sits at the top table when it comes to tennis greats and he deserves every bit of the praise he gets.