Croatia's Borna Coric will make his Mubadala World Tennis Championship (MWTC) debut in Abu Dhabi on Friday against reigning champion Andrey Rublev after USA's Frances Tiafoe was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to injury.
Coric, 26, beat fellow MWTC contenders Cameron Norrie and Stefanos Tsitsipas en route to winning the Cincinnati Masters in August. He will now take on Rublev on the opening day of the championship from 6pm, at the International Tennis Centre in Zayed Sports City.
"I'm excited to be making my Mubadala World Tennis Championship debut in Abu Dhabi. I know there are a lot of Croatian sports fans in the region so it will be great to play in front of them. Playing in the Championship, with such a strong line-up, is the perfect start to my 2023 season," Coric said in a statement.
During his win in Ohio, Coric recorded five successive victories over top-20 players, including world No 3 Rafael Nadal. He also won both his matches at the Davis Cup Finals last month in Malaga.
This year’s MWTC runs from December 16-18 and features six of the best male players – including three of the world’s top five – as well as two of the best female players in World No 2 Ons Jabeur and 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu.
“Adding Coric to the MWTC roster is extremely exciting. He has just completed a fantastic season and is showing he deserves to be playing among the very best once more. In Abu Dhabi, he will certainly be in a strong field and I'm very much looking forward to watching him take on Rublev on the opening day.” said John Lickrish, CEO, Flash Entertainment.
"Even though we are obviously disappointed at Frances’ withdrawal, our players’ health and wellbeing is always our foremost concern and we wish him a speedy recovery.”
Greek world No 3 Tsitispas, top-ranked Carlos Alcaraz of Spain, Norwegian world No 4 Casper Ruud, defending champion Andrey Rublev of Russia, and British No 1 Norrie are the other players in the field.
Tickets for the Championship start from AED 95 for adults and AED 45 for children and can be purchased on the event’s website www.mubadalawtc.com.