The 10th edition of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship 2017 (MWTC) is set to be a historic occasion with Rafael Nadal confirmed to defend his current title and vying to secure his fifth. Joining Nadal for his ninth appearance at the event are current world number eight Dominic Thiem, and world number ten Milos Raonic.
This year’s MWTC, an event that has built its legacy as a must-attend experience as it throws spectators right into the equivalent of a Grand Slam quarter-final, will run from Thursday 28 to Saturday 30 December at the International Tennis Center at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi. A sell-out crowd of over 5,000 per day are expected to attend and experience the thrilling on-court line-up. Whilst off-court, the Tennis Village will be offering an action packed schedule, with plenty of fun for the whole family to experience.
This one of a kind Championship has been a firm favourite in the UAE sports calendar since its launch with crowds getting a unique opportunity to see explosive performances from six of the world’s top players as they battle it out across three days. Historically, all events have featured at least one of the ‘big four’; Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, and this year will be no different.
Nadal has recently climbed to number two in the ATP world rankings following an impressive comeback season. After beating Novak Djokovic in the semi-final of the Madrid Open, the Spaniard won his 30th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title, tying with his semi-final opponent, for the all-time record. This was shortly followed by ‘La Decima’ – his historic 10th French Open victory. With the US Open around the corner, Nadal is eyeing a return to the top of the world rankings, and looking to add a 16th Grand Slam to his already vast resume.
In anticipation of his return to the 10th edition of the MWTC in Abu Dhabi at the end of this year, Rafael Nadal said:
“I am extremely excited to play in the Mubadala World Tennis Championship again later this year. This tournament is very important to me as it is not only the 10th edition and my ninth appearance, but I will also be defending my title. I am very proud to be part of this great event and I know it will be a really enjoyable and challenging tournament as always.”
Earlier this year at the Madrid Open, Nadal defeated Dominic Thiem in the final to claim his 72nd career title. At 23 years old, Thiem is one of the most exciting talents in world tennis and already has eight ATP titles to his name. The 10th edition of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship will be Thiem’s first, where he is set to delight the crowd with his hugely entertaining style of play in what is sure to be an unmissable tournament.
Milos Raonic returns to the Capital again for the third year in a row, after taking on Nadal and Andy Murray at last year’s edition. The Canadian followed his appearance last December by beating Nadal at the Brisbane International in January, and has since reached the quarter-finals at both Wimbledon and the Australian Open.
As always, in the unique ‘winner takes all’ format of the MWTC, the victor will claim $250,000 in prize money. The tournament, which has firmly established itself as the beginning of the global tennis season, was first staged in 2009 and has continuously attracted the best players in the world, partly as it closely replicates the Australian Open in January, the first Grand Slam of the season.
To celebrate the landmark 10th edition, organisers FLASH Entertainment, the region’s premier live events company, in partnership with Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi based investment and development company, are releasing tickets starting from just an incredible AED 50. Those who purchase a ticket in the first 10 days will be entered into daily draws to win unbelievable prizes including signed merchandise from this year’s and past MWTC players, star player clinic spots and the chance to meet their favourite player and carry his bag out alongside them on court.
John Lickrish, CEO of FLASH Entertainment, who launched the tournament in 2008 commented, “To be celebrating the tenth landmark edition of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship this year is something FLASH are truly proud of. We bring a tournament format that is completely unique to the UAE, where tennis fans can enjoy watching the world’s best players battle it out, and families and friends can come together for a great day out to lap up the excitement both on and off-court. Over the past nine editions we have seen 125,000 fans come and join us in Abu Dhabi, which goes to show its popularity here. With Nadal, Raonic and Thiem already lined up, this year will certainly be another thrilling event.”
Rashed Al Harmoodi, Head of Corporate External Relations at Mubadala, the title sponsor of the tournament, added, “We are delighted to bring back the Mubadala World Tennis Championship to Abu Dhabi in its tenth edition. Each year we aim to encourage young people and tennis fans in the UAE to take part in the sport and be active and healthy. We have already managed to do this with thousands over the last ten years, by bringing these living tennis legends to play some of their best tennis in Abu Dhabi. We have an exciting programme of activities over the coming months where we will get racquets into their hands, and make inroads into the hearts and minds of even more youngsters.”