Kevin Anderson will return to Abu Dhabi at the end of the year to defend his Mubadala World Tennis Championship, organisers have confirmed.
The world No 8 is the third high-profile player to sign up for the December 27-29 exhibition event after 14-time grand slam champion Novak Djokovic and seven-time major winner Venus Williams were confirmed earlier this month.
The big-serving South African defeated Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut in last year's final at the Abu Dhabi International Tennis Centre at Zayed Sports City.
“What a tournament last year turned out to be," said Anderson, 32. "The Mubadala World Tennis Championship is the perfect start to the tennis season and I cannot wait to return to the court and defend my title.”
The MWTC proved the launchpad for a successful 2019 season for Anderson. After winning his fourth ATP title in New York he reached the final at Wimbledon in July, losing to Djokovic 6-2, 6-2, 7-6.
Promoters Flash Entertainment said in a statement: “Every year, the MWTC grows in stature on the worldwide tennis circuit, attracting leading players from across the world.
"Kevin Anderson’s return shows the prominence top seeds place on this event and the increasing global focus on Abu Dhabi as a key destination for world-class sporting events.”
Organisers announced a theme for the three days of action at this year's tournament. Day 1 will be centred around families with free entry for children age 2-12 with the purchase of an adult ticket. Day 2 will cater for food lovers and Day 3 will be dedicated to women.
Tickets are priced from Dh100 and can be purchased from www.ticketmaster.ae or by calling 800 86 823 and all Virgin Megastores across the UAE.