Press Releases

Sensational Line-Up of Stars to Light up Centre Court in Abu Dhabi

FLASH Entertainment, the region’s premier live events company, in partnership with Mubadala, the strategic investment and development Company, today announced the sensational line-up of star players for this year’s Mubadala World Tennis Championship.

  • US Open winner, Olympic Gold Medalist & 2009 Abu Dhabi champion Andy Murray to make hero’s return to the capital
  • Djokovic confirmed to defend his title alongside Nadal, Ferrer, Berdych &Tipsarevic 
  • Opening match at 5pm Thursday 27th December to kick start an incredible weekend of tennis

Abu Dhabi, 2nd October 2012: FLASH Entertainment, the region’s premier live events company, in partnership with Mubadala, the strategic investment and development Company, today announced the sensational line-up of star players for this year’s Mubadala World Tennis Championship.

Six of the world’s top ten players will compete for the title in Abu Dhabi with latest Grand Slam winner and world number 3 Andy Murray joined by Mubadala World Tennis Championship defending champion and world number 2 Novak Djokovic, world number 4 Rafael Nadal, world number 5 David Ferrer and world number 6 Tomas Berdych alongside a debut appearance from Serbian superstar and world number 9 Janko Tipsarevic.

Now in its fifth year, the tournament that has witnessed record crowds’ year on year will return to the Abu Dhabi International Tennis Complex at Zayed Sports City from 27th December to 29th December 2012.

The world-class action and renowned lively atmosphere on centre court will start from the moment the first shot is struck on the opening day of the championship, Thursday 27th December, with one of the game’s legendary trio; Djokovic, Murray or Nadal competing as part of a special night out to kick start an incredible weekend of tennis in the capital. 

Speaking on his return to Abu Dhabi following a 3-year absence, reigning US Open champion Andy Murray said:

“This season has been great, winning both a Grand Slam and an Olympic Gold Medal. But I’m hungry for more success and already looking forward to the season ahead, which starts for me in Abu Dhabi. I’m in good form at the moment and I want that to continue in the coming months.”

Murray is the first British man to win a Grand Slam singles title since Fred Perry in 1936, defeating Novak Djokovic in a thrilling five set final at the recent US Open and the first British player to win an Olympic gold medal in the men’s singles in over 100 years.  Murray can expect a hero’s welcome to Abu Dhabi by fans that have witnessed the Scot finally realize his potential during an amazing 2012.

Eager to defend his crown and renew rivalries with the game’s elite, reigning Mubadala World Tennis Champion and world number 2, Novak Djokovic said:

“Winning in Abu Dhabi on my first attempt last year helped kick-start my season and prepared me perfectly for Australia. The weather, facilities, player line-up and atmosphere are stunning so it was an easy decision to return. Obviously I want to defend my title but I also want to see how tennis has grown during the last year.  What Mubadala has been doing is absolutely fantastic for the game as few tournaments have six of the world’s top ten players competing while letting fans and children get so close to their heroes.  It was very special to see the excitement on the kid’s faces and the energy in the stadium.  I’m sure this year will be even better.”

The unique combination of a ‘winner takes all’ prize of $250,000, the world’s best players and a championship format that takes fans on day one immediately to the equivalent of a Grand Slam quarter final guarantees explosive performances and attacking tennis with two matches each day to thrill the crowds on centre court.

Speaking at the tournament’s launch, John Lickrish, FLASH Entertainment, explained: 

“This year’s line-up of players are truly at the top of their game. It guarantees another tournament of world-class tennis here in Abu Dhabi. The popularity of tennis has grown so much over the years, and the crowds are as passionate as any where in the world. We’re sure this year will create even more once-in-a-lifetime memories for families and people of all ages at Zayed Sports City.  Get your tickets early, especially for the opening day where we’ll see the extraordinary talents of Djokovic, Murray or Nadal in action on centre court.”

Amina Taher, Head of Community Engagement at Mubadala, the title sponsor of the tournament, added: 

“The Mubadala World Tennis Championship is an opportunity to put Abu Dhabi on the international sporting map and we look forward to three days of exciting competition featuring the world’s best players. But for the local community, it is so much more than just a weekend of entertainment.”

“The Championship is leaving a lasting legacy in Abu Dhabi by inspiring a new generation into tennis through three months of dedicated community initiatives supported by Mubadala. We are committed to providing opportunities for young people to lead active and healthy lifestyles by encouraging them to get involved in sports, and continue to sow the seeds of the sport’s development.”

Building on last year’s successful community initiatives, the Mubadala Tennis in School program and the Mubadala Community Cup are set to return with expanded programs launching in the coming weeks for those not only wanting to watch tennis, but play and learn the game in the build-up to the tournament.

This year, centre court will come alive from 5pm Thursday 27th December with the opening match now scheduled later to suit those coming straight from work. Delicious food and beverage facilities served within the tournament village will ensure fans don’t miss any of the action on one of the most exciting days in the tournament’s history. It’s the ideal start to the weekend for families and friends wanting to see the best players in the world go head to head while enjoying the special tournament atmosphere.

Details on the championship’s expanded Tennis Village including the hugely popular live entertainment, family picnic area and interactive Zone will be revealed as the excitement builds towards the UAE’s best sporting weekends. 

For any fans wishing to enjoy the ultimate VIP experience, Premier Hospitality Packages can be purchased. The Premier package includes premium courtside seating to see the stars in action up close, exquisite gourmet food in the hospitality area, access to exclusive Q&A sessions with players and premier parking access.

The Mubadala World Tennis Championship runs from 27th December to 29st December 2012 and tickets are available from 2nd October at  or call 800 FLASH (35274). 

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