Djokovic to defend his Mubadala World Tennis Championship title
Four-time MWTC winner, Djokovic, said he enjoyed playing in Abu Dhabi. - Supplied Photo
Abu Dhabi - Three of world's top 10 male players confirmed alongside a legend and the future of the women's game
World No.2 Novak Djokovic will part of the lineup for the Mubadala World Tennis Championship starting from Dec.19-21 at the International Tennis Centre at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi, a press release stated.
The 32-year-old Djokovic, a four-time MWTC winner, joins a dream lineup of world No.1 Rafael Nadal, and world No.4 Daniil Medvedev who will vie for the Mubadala World Tennis Championship title in December. With Djokovic's entry, it is advantage spectators as they are now guaranteed to see three of the top 10 men's players in the world live in action along with a powerhouse clash in the women's match which pits five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova against young sensation Amanda Anisimova.
The Mubadala World Tennis Championship has seen a strategic shift in dates with the organisers having moved forward the much-anticipated event by a week. Action will commence on 19 December till the 21 December, in a move to enable visitors to capitalise on the festive season by enjoying high-octane tennis action under Abu Dhabi's famed winter sun.
Djokovic has had an excellent year, having clinched the season-opening Australian Open by defeating Rafael Nadal in the final before being crowned the 'King of Grass', downing Roger Federer in the final at Wimbledon. Most recently, Djokovic won the Japan Open, beating the USA's John Millman in straight sets. Djokovic, who has 16 Grand Slam titles to his name, has developed a strong connection with Abu Dhabi, having claimed the Mubadala World Tennis Championship crown four times. In the 2018 final, he defeated South Africa's Kevin Anderson in a thrilling final, eventually winning 4-6, 7-5, 7-5.
"Novak's confirmation is proof of the fact that the Mubadala World Tennis Championship has developed into a premier tournament, attracting the cream of tennis talent from across the world. Novak is no stranger to Abu Dhabi, having won the title four times and I am confident that he will come into the tournament firing on all cylinders," said John Lickrish, CEO Flash Entertainment.
"Innovation and a constant uptick in the value we aim to provide to spectators has been a hallmark of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship. This year, the change in dates, a line-up brimming with class, and the transformation of the International Tennis Centre into a wholesome entertainment village, are part of our efforts to make the tournament a certainty in the calendars of UAE residents and visitors," added Lickrish.
Having had a trophy-laden year, Djokovic said that he hoped to hit the ground running as he prepares for what will be a grueling year of tennis with the MWTC being the perfect start to his season. "Abu Dhabi is a special place and one where I have tasted success consistently. The courts are great, the spectators know their sport, and the atmosphere is thoroughly enjoyable," said Djokovic.
"The lineup for the tournament is really strong. You always want to play challenging opponents early in the season in order to get a good measure of yourself and I am hoping I can put in place a few things that I have been working on in the off-season," he said.