Trailblazing Tunisian Ons Jabeur said she is “really excited” to be back in the UAE for the inaugural Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open that takes place next month.
The Women’s Tennis Association and IMG announced on Monday that Abu Dhabi will be the newest destination for the tour, with Jabeur among those confirmed for the tournament being held at Zayed Sports City’s International Tennis Centre from February 5-12.
Jabeur, 28, enjoyed a historic year in 2022 when she became the first African and Arab woman to win a WTA 1000 title after lifting the Madrid Open, climbed to a career-high of No 2 in the world rankings, as well as reaching her first Grand Slam finals at Wimbledon and the US Open.
“I’m really excited to once again be playing in Abu Dhabi in February,” said Jabuer, who takes on Tamara Zidansek in the first round of the Australian Open on Tuesday. “The atmosphere and support from the fans is always incredible and I hope to continue my winning run in an amazing venue.”
Hosted in partnership with Abu Dhabi Sports Council and Mubadala, the WTA 500 event will bring together the world’s top female players, including Jabeur, who made her second Mubadala World Tennis Championship appearance last month in Abu Dhabi.
Title partner Mubadala has been a committed supporter of tennis for over 14 years, sponsoring many professional tennis events globally as well as supporting local initiatives such as the Mubadala Community Cup and Mubadala Tennis in Schools Programs.
The Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open will expand their involvement in women’s tennis, adding a second WTA 500 event to their WTA partnership portfolio.
“We are thrilled to be part of bringing this inaugural WTA 500 tour event to Abu Dhabi, continuing our global support of tennis and attracting world-class events to the Emirate,” Homaid Al Shimmari, deputy group chief executive and chief corporate and human capital officer for Mubadala Investment Company, said during the launch ceremony.
“This partnership complements our efforts to promote an active and healthy lifestyle in the community, and builds on the legacy of Mubadala supporting professional women’s tennis in the region.”
Abu Dhabi Sports Council general secretary Aref Al Awani said they were delighted to welcome the Hologic WTA Tour to Abu Dhabi.
“The tournament underpins our commitment to bring a variety of quality sporting events to the region and to inspire the young sporting generations.
“The hosting of this tournament is a testament to Abu Dhabi's abilities as hosts and organisers. We aim to build on that to fulfil even more of our goals for the upcoming event.”
Abu Dhabi’s position in the calendar will create a unique three-week Hologic WTA Tour swing in the region, with Doha and Dubai joining, promising best-in-class player fields competing for valuable WTA points.
“This tournament will build on the commitment Mubadala has made in introducing professional women’s tennis to Abu Dhabi in recent years,” said Steve Simon, WTA Chairman and chief executive.
Aside from more than 60 singles and doubles matches across eight days, the tournament will feature a variety of entertaining activities for families and sports enthusiasts alike, including fan activations and tennis-themed games, as well as player Q&A sessions over the first four days.
“We are proud to bring the first-ever permanent official Women’s Tour event to Abu Dhabi,” said Robbie Henchman, president of Global Partnerships – IMG Events, IMG Media and On Location.
“Mubadala and Abu Dhabi Sports Council are the perfect partners to help us deliver a world-class, action-packed event, with thrilling action on and off the court for fans, families, and friends to enjoy.”