FLASH Entertainment, the region’s premier live events company, in partnership with Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi-based investment and development company, today announced the strongest line-up in the history of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship (MWTC) with six of the world’s top ten players descending on Abu Dhabi from 26 – 28 December 2013.
Nadal, who reclaimed the world number one ranking this weekend, Djokovic and Murray have already confirmed their place at the Championship. Rounding off a line-up that includes the four top players in the world today is world number four, David Ferrer. The Spaniard makes a welcome return to the capital alongside Frenchman and world number eight, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Both players have wowed the sell-out crowds in Abu Dhabi in previous years but have not yet managed to get their hands on the coveted trophy. It has been a strong season for Ferrer who reached his first Grand Slam final at Roland Garros this year, while Tsonga returned from injury in style last month to make the Open de Moselle final. Completing the six-strong line-up is world number nine, Stanislas Wawrinka who returns to Abu Dhabi at the end of a 2013 season which has seen him reach his first Grand Slam semi-final.
In the sixth year of the tournament it’s anyone’s game as all three of the previous MWTC champions will battle it out for the top spot. The stellar bill of talent includes the recently crowned world number one, Rafael Nadal, who leapfrogged Novak Djokovic to take the top spot this weekend after reaching the China Open final. With 13 major wins, the reigning French and US Open Champion is the man to beat in Abu Dhabi, his rivalry with Novak Djokovic fiercer than ever. World number two and defending Mubadala World Tennis Champion, Novak Djokovic will be hungry for revenge over Nadal as both seek to become Abu Dhabi’s first three-time champion. The Serbian is as well-equipped as any to get the better of the Spaniard in a year which saw him victorious at the Australian Open, becoming the first player in the open era to win three straight Australian Open titles. 2009 champion and world number three, Andy Murray, returning to Abu Dhabi as Wimbledon champion; will be looking to stave off stiff competition to take home the crown again this year.
For world number four David Ferrer, the event is an opportunity to end a strong season with yet another high. The Spaniard commented:
“With such a strong line-up you know that it’s not going to be an easy three days, but that’s what makes it exciting. Everyone is working hard to be at the top of their game for the season ahead and for us, this is a way to put our training to the test against the top players in the world. Everyone will bring their best tennis; everyone will be ready.”
The full player line-up was revealed at a press conference in the capital today, hosted by tennis legend and former Grand Slam Champion, Pat Cash. In his new role as Mubadala World Tennis Championship ambassador, Cash also launched the tournament’s community programs with a tennis clinic for 400 school children from 20 local schools and their physical education teachers.
The two community programs, Mubadala Tennis in Schools and the Mubadala Community Cup, aim to ensure a legacy for tennis in the UAE. The Mubadala Tennis in Schools program returns again in 2013, delivering equipment and coaching sessions to 20 local schools across Abu Dhabi. This year, the focus will be on developing tennis amongst Emirati children who will be given more opportunities to practice their skills with UAE coaches visiting each school four times. At the end of the program, 20 children - one from each participating school - will be invited to display their newly acquired talents on centre court during the Championship.
The Mubadala Community Cup returns to see tennis fans of all ages compete to win a once in a lifetime tennis clinic with a star player during the Championship itself. This year will see the Mubadala Community Cup’s first inter-Emirate play-off when winners from Abu Dhabi compete with winners from Dubai during the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in December.
Pat Cash, who hosted a tennis clinic at Zayed Sports City with local pupils and PE teachers to kick-start the community programs today, commented: “Encouraging youngsters to take part in tennis is something that I’m passionate about and so having the chance to do that in a country where tennis is still developing as a sport is something I hope I can really add value too as ambassador to the Mubadala World Tennis Championship. Through its community initiatives, the tournament does a fantastic job in encouraging people to pick up a racket and in leaving a legacy for tennis beyond the three days of the Championship.”
Amina Taher, Head of Social Development and Sponsorship at Mubadala, the title sponsor of the tournament, added: “While we look forward to three days of exciting competition featuring the world’s best players, we’re equally excited to see how this event can help grow talent locally. Mubadala’s goal remains to encourage Emirati youth to be fit and active and we hope that the world’s elite tennis players and Mubadala’s community programs can serve as an inspiration.”
Mubadala’s sponsorship of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship is a key component of Weyana, Mubadala’s Youth Platform, which aims to prepare today’s youth for the vital role they will play in the United Arab Emirates’ economic and social development.
The annual tournament will take place from 26th to 28th December 2013 at the Abu Dhabi International Tennis Complex at the Abu Dhabi International Tennis Complex at Zayed Sports City. For fans that don’t want to miss out on the tournament’s strongest line-up yet, tickets are on sale from www.ticketmaster.ae and in selected Virgin Megastores, or call 800 TM UAE (800 86 823) with prices starting from AED 50 for children and AED 100 for adults.
For more information, visit: www.mubadalawtc.com