Tennis fans around the world have a special treat in-store at the 10th Edition of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship (MWTC). The Championship have confirmed that 23-time Grand Slam Champion, Serena Williams will be making her return to competitive action after nearly a year away from the game. This will also be the first-time women players have played in the Championship.
Williams who gave birth to her first child earlier this year will play current French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko on day three (December 30) at 5pm as she prepares for the year’s first Grand Slam next month. This will be the first meeting between the two players.
The 36-year-old Williams, considered by many as one of the greatest tennis player of all-time, will be aiming to equal the record for the most Grand Slam wins (24) at next months the Australian Open.
She said, “I am delighted to be returning to the court in Abu Dhabi for the first time since the birth of my daughter in September. The Mubadala World Tennis Championship has long marked the beginning of the men’s global tennis season and I am excited and honoured to be making my comeback as part of the first women to participate in the event. I look forward to seeing the fans in Abu Dhabi at the 10th Edition of the Championship very soon.”
In the finals of the Australian Open earlier this year, Williams beat her older sister, Venus, in straight sets in the process also claiming her seventh title at Melbourne Park. The younger Williams who has 72-career titles has been top of the Women’s rankings for 319 weeks and posted her fifth consecutive top-three finish last year having won at Wimbledon and Rome.
Her opponent, Jelena Ostapenko, has won two WTA titles this year, including her first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros.
Ostapenko said, “I am thrilled to be playing in Abu Dhabi at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship. This will be the first time that women have taken part in the event and it is a huge honour to be part of that history after watching the tournament for many years. Last season was really incredible for me and I cannot wait to continue the start of my new season at such an amazing event.”
Brian Lott, Chief Communications Officer of Mubadala, the title sponsor of the tournament, added, “For the tennis fans in the UAE, having Serena here as part of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship weekend is a thrilling opportunity to see even more world-class tennis. She’s not only an incredible champion, she’s a role model for millions of athletes all over the world and she joins Jelena in offering the UAE a match worthy of grand slam heritage right in the center of Abu Dhabi.”
The Mubadala World Tennis Championship 10th edition will run from December 28 to 30 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 action.