Mubadala World Tennis Championship: When is it, who is playing and are tickets available?

Pre-season tournament in Abu Dhabi once again welcomes some of the biggest names in tennis

The Mubadala World Tennis Championship (MWTC) returns for its 13th edition this week. Here is everything you need to know about the tournament.

What is it?

The Mubadala World Tennis Championship is a pre-season exhibition tennis tournament involving six ATP Tour players, contested over three days in a knockout format. The two highest seeds receive byes to the semi-finals, with the remaining four players placed in the quarter-finals. Since 2017, there has also been a one-off women's match.

MWTC has consistently attracted the biggest names in tennis, including 20-time Grand Slam champions Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, former world No 1 Andy Murray, 23-time major winner Serena Williams, five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova.

Where is it?

MWTC is held at the International Tennis Centre at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi.

When is it?

The 2021 tournament takes place this Thursday until Saturday, December 16-18.

Who is playing?

Nadal once again headlines MWTC as the Spanish superstar returns to the capital for an 11th time. He is the record five-time and defending champion having won the 2019 final against Stefanos Tsitsipas (2020 was cancelled due to the pandemic).

Nadal is joined by another multi-Grand Slam champion in Britain's Murray, the inaugural MWTC winner in 2009 and again in 2015. Russian world No 5 Andrey Rublev returns for his third appearance, while Canadian world No 14 Denis Shapovalov, 23rd-ranked American Taylor Fritz, and British world No 25 Dan Evans will all make their debuts.

The women's match will see Ons Jabeur, the Tunisian world No 10 and the highest-ranked Arab player in history, take on Switzerland's Olympic gold medallist Belinda Bencic.

What is the order of play?

Thursday's action gets underway with the first quarter-final between Fritz and Shapovalov at 4pm, followed by Murray's match against Evans not before 6pm. Day 1 then concludes with Jabeur v Bencic not before 8pm.

Friday's Day 2 starts with the fifth-place playoff between the losers of the two quarter-finals at 3pm, before the two semi-finals at around 5pm and 7pm. Rublev will take on either Fritz or Shapovalov in the first semi, with Nadal awaiting Murray or Evans.

Saturday will host the third-place playoff at 5pm and concludes with the final at 7pm.

For fans attending MWTC, there are also plenty of activities away from the stadium court as players host coaching clinics for children, autograph signings, and Q&A sessions. The official schedule has all the details.

Ons Jabeur will make her MWTC debut on Thursday evening. AFP

What else is there to do?

The Tennis Village will have an array of family activities, entertainment, prize giveaways, and food trucks.

Are tickets available?

Tickets start from Dh100 for adults and Dh50 for children, and are available from ticketmaster.ae and Virgin Megastores across the UAE.

What are the Covid entry rules?

In line with the latest government guidelines, MWTC will welcome fans with green status on the Al Hosn app and a negative PCR test result with 96-hour validity across the three days of the tournament. MWTC is also accessible to international visitors after Abu Dhabi’s lifting of quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers.

Measures will be in place within the stadium and throughout the Tennis Village to ensure the health and safety of fans, players and officials.

More details are available on www.mubadalawtc.com

Updated: December 16th 2021, 8:36 AM