ABU DHABI: US Open champion Emma Raducanu has been announced as the first big name to be taking part in the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi in December.
The 18-year-old British sensation will head to the UAE capital for the the 13th edition of the tournament, which will take place at the International Tennis Center at Zayed Sports City from Dec. 16-18.
“I’ve never been to Abu Dhabi and can’t wait to play in the championship. I know the UAE is celebrating its 50th anniversary at the beginning of December, so I’m sure it’s going to be amazing there. I’m excited to experience everything the country has to offer, both at the event and culturally,” said Raducanu.
The new British No. 1 and world No. 22 took the world by storm with her fairy-tale triumph at the US Open in September, setting a host of records at Flushing Meadows by becoming the first qualifier, male or female, to win a Grand Slam in the Open era; the youngest Grand Slam winner since Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon in 2004; and the first Briton to win a women’s Grand Slam singles title since Virginia Wade at the 1977 Wimbledon championships.
“We have consistently set the bar high year-on-year with our line-up, to the point where fans expect the best. The return of the championship with fans was a milestone moment and we wanted to reward their loyalty with another unrivalled experience,” said John Lickrish, CEO of organizers Flash Entertainment.
“While working with Abu Dhabi government entities and key partners to ensure the championship’s safe return, we had our eyes on the in-form players in both the men’s and women’s games. Seeing Emma’s star rising with superb performances in the summer, and the fans’ reaction, we knew we had to bring her to Abu Dhabi, with her remarkable victory at the US Open reinforcing that decision.”
Raducanu will take to the court on day one of the three-day championship, with the women’s match taking place ahead of a series of elimination matches featuring six of the world’s best male tennis players.
“Emma and her opponent, who will be announced in coming days, will continue the legacy of the MWTC women’s match, which has a history of attracting the biggest names in some epic encounters,” Lickrish said.
“This year’s full line-up, to be announced in the weeks ahead, underlines Abu Dhabi’s capability to host world-class international events featuring global talent, in a safe and secure environment,” he added.