Organisers for the Mubadala World Tennis Championships announced world Nos 10 and 12, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Kevin Anderson, will fill out the six-man field for the tournament from December 31-January 2.
Rafael Nadal is the headliner, with the other three including French Open winner Stan Wawrinka, rising star Milos Raonic and David Ferrer.
This will be Tsonga’s fourth appearnace in the tournament, after appearing in the third, fourth and sixth editions. South African Anderson will be playing here for the first time.
“I am really enjoying my tennis, feeling good and there is a lot to look forward to,” Tsonga said in a press release. “Abu Dhabi is a tournament which can kick start my season right from the beginning so I’m excited for the challenge.“
In 2013, Tsonga's last time in the capital, he defeated Andy Murray in the first round before losing to Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals and then Nadal in the third-place match. He lost in the first round in his other two attempts.
The 30-year-old Frenchman has seen a resurgence in form this season, reaching the French Open semi-finals and US Open quarter-finals. He’s gone 31-15 this season, winning one title at Metz.
Anderson, meanwhile, has enjoyed a breakout season of his own. The big-serving 29-year-old, standing 6ft 8in (2.03m), notably lost a thriller to Djokovic at the Wimbledon fourth round after he shocked the world No 1 by winning the first two games. Then he made his first grand slam quarter-final at the US Open by beating Andy Murray to reach the stage.
Anderson made three finals this season, at Memphis, Queen’s Club, and Winston-Salem, where he claimed his third career ATP title – and first since 2012 – in August.
“I’ve heard a lot about the Mubadala World Tennis Championship and seen that it’s a great place for players to start the season with top competition,” Anderson said in the release. “The line-up is really strong, really competitive and to go head to head with the likes of Milos, Rafa, Stan, Kevin and David is the best way to get up to speed for the season.
“With such a strong lineup, the on court battles will be extremely competitive.
“I’ll be hoping to see some South African flags out there giving me support.”
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