The Mubadala World Tennis Championship (MWTC) will return this year with the traditional six-male player tournament and a one-off women's match, organisers announced on Tuesday.
Scheduled for December 16-18 at Zayed Sports City's International Tennis Centre, this year's MWTC will be the 13th edition of the pre-season tournament. The 2020 event was not held because of the coronavirus pandemic, and also due to the Australian Open pushing its start by three weeks.
However, as Abu Dhabi continues to take steps to open up to the world, MWTC is ready to welcome fans back in line with the government's health and safety guidelines.
Ticket holders over 12 will need to present a green pass on their Al Hosn app, showing their fully vaccinated status and a negative PCR test result, valid for no more than 48 hours, to gain entry to the venue. Ticket holders under 12 must show a negative PCR test result valid for no more than 48 hours. All fans will be required to wear face masks at all times and maintain social distancing during the event.
“Since its inception, the Mubadala World Tennis Championship has proven to be incredibly popular with people from Abu Dhabi and around the world, so to be able to announce its return, with fans in attendance, is a very special moment for us,” said John Lickrish, CEO of Flash Entertainment, the tournament's owners.
“We challenge ourselves with each edition to provide an unmissable experience for all our audiences, from tennis fans and live event loyalists to families and international visitors. We look forward to announcing another world-class line-up and welcome the world’s best tennis players back to Abu Dhabi.
“The health and well-being of fans, players and officials is our priority, and we are working closely with government entities, key championship partners and stakeholders to ensure a safe and successful event for all.”
MWTC frequently welcomes the world's best players to Abu Dhabi. World No 1 Novak Djokovic and fellow 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal have been regular participants over the years.
Nadal is the reigning and record five-time champion having beaten Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas in the 2019 final. Djokovic has won the tournament four times.
Former world No 1 Andy Murray was the tournament's inaugural champion in 2009, while Swiss great Roger Federer, three-time major winner Stan Wawrinka, and current world No 8 Dominic Thiem have also participated.
Nadal beats Tsitsipas in 2019 MWTC final
The one-off women's match was first introduced in 2017 and saw 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams make her return to the court for her first match since winning the Australian Open 11 months earlier. The American great missed the rest of the season due to pregnancy and the subsequent birth of daughter Olympia.
Williams, who played then French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in the inaugural match, returned the following year to play sister Venus.
The most recent women's match pitted Russian superstar Maria Sharapova against Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic.
Tickets for this year's tournament start at Dh100 for adults and Dh50 for children and are available from ticketmaster.ae and Virgin Megastores across the UAE.
“We are proud to continue our support for the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, one of the most highly anticipated sports events in Abu Dhabi,” said Homaid Abdulla Al Shimmari, deputy group CEO and chief corporate & human capital officer, Mubadala.
“This world-class tournament is an unmissable sporting and social event for the people of the UAE that also helps to promote an active lifestyle in line with our commitment to positively impact the communities in which we operate.
“As Abu Dhabi resumes events with people in attendance in a safe environment, we are delighted to be welcoming some of the biggest names in tennis to the city and helping to bring world-class entertainment to the UAE.”