An ace line-up

Rafa Nadal is look­ing for glory once more at the Mubadala World Ten­nis Cham­pi­onship. By Sean-paul Do­ran

Time Out Abu Dhabi - - SPORT & WELLBEING - Edited by Har­riet Shep­hard time­outabud­habi.com/sport-well­be­ing

TEN­NIS HOT­SHOT RAFAEL Nadal is re­turn­ing to Abu Dhabi for the Mubadala World Ten­nis Cham­pi­onship and is look­ing for a ofth ti­tle.

The Span­ish great joins ri­val No­vak Djokovic, Kevin An­der­son and Venus Wil­liams in a star-stud­ded line-up for the an­nual ten­nis jam­boree from De­cem­ber 27-29.

And 17-time Grand Slam cham­pion Nadal can’t wait to be back in the cap­i­tal af­ter be­ing forced to pull out of last year’s tour­na­ment.

He says: “Abu Dhabi is one of my favourite places to play – the cli­mate, at­mos­phere and en­thu­si­asm from the crowds at the Mubadala World Ten­nis Cham­pi­onship pro­vides the per­fect start to the new sea­son.

“The tour­na­ment brings to­gether play­ers at the top of their game; we all rel­ish play­ing in these ex­tremely com­pet­i­tive matches.”

Held at the In­ter­na­tional Ten­nis Cen­tre in Zayed Sports City, the MWTC gives ten­nis fans in the UAE an in­cred­i­ble chance to see their sport­ing heroes bat­tle it out on their doorstep.

Now in its 11th year, the com­pe­ti­tion is seen by many ob­servers as the Àrst proper warm-up tour­na­ment lead­ing into the Aus­tralian Open, the Àrst Grand Slam of 2019.

But it’s not just the ten­nis ac­tion that is set to thrill the crowds, with fun for all the fam­ily at the nearby Ten­nis Vil­lage.

Each day will take on a new theme, with day one cen­tred around fam­i­lies as kids aged two to 12 get free en­try on the open­ing day with the pur­chase of an adult ticket.

Day two is for the food­ies out there, with one of the ten­nis stars signed up to swap their rac­quet for a spat­ula in a live cook­ing demon­stra­tion.

And day three is ded­i­cated to the women of the cap­i­tal, with an ele­gant ladies’ day cel­e­brat­ing fash­ion, sports and healthy liv­ing.

John Lick­r­ish, CEO of pro­mot­ers FLASH En­ter­tain­ment, says: “We’re putting to­gether an ex­cit­ing line-up – one that re­it­er­ates the grow­ing promi­nence of the Mubadala World Ten­nis Cham­pi­onship on the global ten­nis cal­en­dar.

“Nadal’s re­turn, along­side the newly crowned num­ber one, No­vak Djokovic, plus de­fend­ing champ Kevin An­der­son un­der­lines the im­por­tance top play­ers place on the event.

“Wel­com­ing Venus Wil­liams [in the women’s event] for her de­but in Abu Dhabi adds ad­di­tional star power. We’re truly ex­cited at the cal­i­bre of par­tic­i­pants this year.”

Tick­ets are priced from Dhs100 and can be bought from Vir­gin

Me­ga­s­tores at www.tick­et­mas­ter.ae or by call­ing

800 86 823.

We know the event will be a smash once again.

→ From Dhs100. Dec 2729. In­ter­na­tional Ten­nis

Cen­tre, Zayed Sports

City, Abu Dhabi

(800 86 823).

“We all rel­ish play­ing in these matches”

WHAT IS IT... An elite opener to the ten­nis sea­son WHY GO... To wit­ness some of the great­est play­ers the game has ever seen

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