Global tennis stars ready to light up Abu Dhabi

Some of the all-time greatest names in tennis have arrived in Abu Dhabi ahead of the opening day of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship at the International Tennis Complex, Zayed Sports City.

The first day of the three-day tournament, 27th – 29th December, sees an irresistible line-up of sensational matches and the long-awaited return of the inaugural Abu Dhabi champion, as British star Andy Murray takes his place in an fascinating encounter against debutant Janko Tispsarevic from Serbia.

The current world number 3 and reigning US and Olympic Champion will kick start the weekend’s action and lively atmosphere on centre court at the later time of 5pm on Thursday 27th December to let all fans welcome his heroic return to the capital following a three-year absence.

Speaking in Abu Dhabi ahead of his opening match, Andy Murray said:

“I really enjoyed being in Abu Dhabi a few years ago so I’m pleased to be back . My schedule didn’t allow it previously but with the longer off season this year coming to Abu Dhabi is a great opportunity for me to see where my game is before the Austrailian Open.

“Last season I was rewarded for all the hard work I put in so I’ve worked even harder pre-season and I’m ready. I’ve played Janko a lot in the last year and he’s always tough opponent. He’s really quick on the court, good on both sides and a powerful serve. It should be a good game.     

Ready for his debut in Abu Dhabi and his challenge on opening night, Janko Tipsarevic said:

“This event is the most prestigious that a player can take part in to get their game ready.

I’ve spoken to the guys and they all love coming here.  We have six of the world’s leading players here so I’m really happy to make my debut. I’ve trained really well in the off-season and I’m now ready for 2013. It’s a tough draw.

But I’m always happy to play against Andy. We’ve had some great matches in recently. I’ve won some and I’ve lost some but I honestly can’t wait to walk to court. The atmosphere will be fantastic.

The second match on the opening night is expected to be an extremely tight battle between the world number 5, David Ferrer of Spain and his closest rival and world number 6 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic. The world-class duo will face each other for the first time since their epic match in the Davis Cup Final, completing an unmissable opening night of the championship.

Making his return to Abu Dhabi having launched the Mubadala Tennis in Schools Program in October, Tomas Berdych said:

“This tournament is the best possible start you can have to a season. I hope to play a couple of matches with some really great players in conditions that suit the build up to Austrailia. I want to get some rhythm and try a few things. Playing David (Ferrer) who I played in the Davis Cup is going to a good fight. He’s been playing the best tennis of his life but I’m looking forward to getting back out on court.”

With an all-star cast completed by a Day 2 semi-final line-up on 28th December that will feature world number 1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic and Spanish star World number eleven Nicolas Almagro from Spain, there is no doubting the championship’s world-class status.

Once again the explosive performances on centre court are complemented with a packed schedule in the Tennis Village to entertain the entire family and encourage more people to pick up a racquet. Free to enter to those with or without tickets, the opening day in the village will see a player Q&A session for children at 2pm as part of Kids Day, and autograph signings by Djokovic at 3.30pm.

As the players warm-up today ahead of their opening matches of the new season and anticipation builds in Abu Dhabi only limited tickets remain for the hottest event of the festive holidays.

The stage is set for another truly memorable weekend of world-class sporting entertainment in Abu Dhabi and the greatest players in the world are back in the Capital.

Former champions will perform with Djokovic the world number one defending his title and Murray returning as a Grand Slam Champion, so more explosive tennis is guaranteed.

Those still needing to secure their place at the Mubadala World Championship are urged to book now to avoid disappointment with Day 2 tickets and full 3 day packages now completely sold out.

The Mubadala World Tennis Championship runs from 27th December to 29th December 2012. Ticket prices start from AED100 for children and AED150 for adults on Day 1 with FREE admission to the interactive Tennis Village. Tickets are available now at www.thinkflash.ae  or call 800 FLASH (35274).

For more information visit - www.mubadalawtc.com.