Frances Tiafoe 'super excited' to make Mubadala World Tennis Championship debut

American becomes the sixth player confirmed for the Abu Dhabi tournament

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US Open semi-finalist Frances Tiafoe will make his Mubadala World Tennis Championship (MWTC) debut this year after the American was confirmed as the sixth player for the Abu Dhabi tournament.

Following the earlier announcements of world No 1 Carlos Alcaraz, world No 3 Casper Ruud, and defending champion Andrey Rublev, Tiafoe takes the fourth spot in the six-man event taking place December 16-18 at Zayed Sports City's International Tennis Centre. World No 2 Ons Jabeur and former US Open champion Emma Raducanu will contest the one-off women's match.

“I’m super excited to travel to Abu Dhabi and compete at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship,” said Tiafoe. “Playing in such a competitive tournament before the holidays and at the start of the new season is something I am really looking forward to. It’s going to be a terrific experience against an elite field, and I can’t wait to get out there.”

Tiafoe, 24, is one of the most popular and entertaining players on the ATP Tour, and is enjoying one of the best seasons of his career. The American sits at a career-high No 17 in the world rankings having become the first American since 2006 to reach the US Open semi-finals last month, where he lost a five-set thriller to Alcaraz.

Following his run in New York, Tiafoe was instrumental in helping Team World win the Laver Cup for the first time, defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas after saving four match points to seal the trophy.

Most recently, Tiafoe reached the final of the Tokyo Open, narrowly missing out on the title to compatriot Taylor Fritz in a final decided by two tiebreaks. He has one career title, achieved at Delray Beach in 2018, and has reached four ATP Tour finals.

A prodigious talent, Tiafoe won the 2013 Orange Bowl championship, regarded as one of the sport’s most prestigious junior international competitions. In doing so, he became the youngest champion in boys' singles, eclipsing the achievements of John McEnroe and Roger Federer.

In 2015, he became the youngest American for 26 years to appear in the main draw of the French Open, and in 2019, he reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open. In 2021, he secured his biggest career victory, against Tsitsipas at Wimbledon, before beating Rafael Nadal and Rublev this year en route to the US Open semi-finals.

“Frances Tiafoe is one of the most brilliant and brightest tennis stars right now and one to watch as the next generation of tennis superstars emerge," said John Lickrish, CEO Flash Entertainment, the tournament owners.

"He had an outstanding season this year and excelled at this year’s French Open and US Open. He is considered one of the most talented young players and has developed a strong fan base around the world. I have no doubts at all he will prove a highly popular addition to this year’s Mubadala World Tennis Championship.”

Entering its 14th edition, MWTC will continue its usual format which will see two quarter-finals played on the opening day while the top two seeds receive byes to Day 2's semi-finals. The second day will also host the fifth-place playoff between the two quarter-final losers prior to the semi-final matches.

The third and final day will then see the third-place playoff before the final and trophy ceremony conclude the tournament. Jabeur will take on Raducanu in the final match on Day 1.

Tickets start from Dh95 for children and Dh195 for adults and can be purchased on the event’s official website.

It has also been announced that the Day 3 matches will take place earlier than usual to ensure fans are able to watch the 2022 World Cup final, which is scheduled to take place at 7pm UAE time.

Updated: October 19, 2022, 5:30 AM
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