Organisers of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship have announced that newly-crowned ATP Finals champion Stefanos Tsitsipas is the latest name to be added to the star-studded pre-season event.
Tsitispas rounded off a stellar 2019 by winning the season-ending ATP Finals in London last week, beating Dominic Thiem 6-7, 6-2, 7-6 at London's O2 Arena.
The 21-year-old Greek becomes the sixth player signed up for the December 19-21 MWTC, joining a cast that already includes world No 1 Rafael Nadal and defending champion and world No 2 Novak Djokovic.
It means tennis fans here will see in action four of the world's top six male players, with Russia's Daniil Medvedev, ranked No 5 in the world, one place above Tsitsipas, also taking part at the three-day event in the capital.
“This is my first time coming to Abu Dhabi and I want to make a great first impression at this tournament,” Tsitsipas said.
“I’ve heard amazing things about the Mubadala World Tennis Championship and Abu Dhabi. The weather and the facilities make for the perfect destination to start the 2020 season and the organisers are putting together a really strong line-up.
“You want to compete against the best at every opportunity and this Championship provides the chance to compete against the world’s top players.”
The final two slots will be announced soon, Flash Entertainment said, while the one-off women's match - entering its third edition this year - has already been filled and will see former world No 1 Maria Sharapova take on American teen sensation Amanda Anisimova.
“Bringing the best of international tennis talent to Abu Dhabi is always our priority and Stefanos Tsitsipas is a rising star in the men’s game. At just 21 he has shown he can stand with the best. He is an exciting player with a very bright future and his dynamism and character are sure to be a big hit with spectators,” said John Lickrish, chief executive of Flash Entertainment.
Tsitsipas achieved new heights in 2019, reaching his first Grand Slam semi-final at the Australian Open, beating world No 3 Roger Federer along the way, who he also beat in the last four of the ATP Finals. He won his second professional singles title at the Open 13 in Marseille and also reached the final of the China Open in September.
In winning the ATP's season finale, Tsitsipas also beat fellow top-10 players Medvedev, Thiem and last year's winner Alexander Zverev.
Stefanos Tsitsipas crowned ATP Finals champion
He also has wins over Nadal and Djokovic, who together hold the record for most MWTC titles (four) this year. Tsitsipas beat Spaniard Nadal at the Madrid Masters in May and Serb Djokovic at last month's Shanghai Masters.
This year's MWTC, now in its 12th year, has been brought forward from its traditional dates leading up to the New Year to be played a week earlier at the 5,000-capacity International Tennis Centre at Zayed Sports City.
Tickets start from Dh100 for Adults and are now on sale at www.ticketmaster.ae or by calling 800 86 823 from within the UAE or +971 4 366 2289 from outside the country, and at all Virgin Megastores across the UAE. Three-day packages are also available with savings of 20 per cent.