ABU DHABI: Rafael Nadal has confirmed he will return to Abu Dhabi at the 13th Mubadala World Tennis Championship this December, looking to defend his title and make it six victories at the Arabian Gulf’s leading professional tennis experience.
The joint record-holder of most male Grand Slam titles has chosen Abu Dhabi to begin his 2022 campaign while making his 11th appearance at the championship. Nadal’s confirmation means the eight-player line-up for the MWTC, which returns this year with full stadium capacity, now includes two of the world’s top ten and four of the world’s top 20 male players.
The World No. 5 Spanish ace joins Casper Ruud (No. 8), Dominic Thiem (No. 12) and Denis Shapovalov (No. 19) for a series of elimination matches, at the International Tennis Center at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi, from Dec. 16-18.
They will be joined by US Open women’s champion, Emma Raducanu, who will be taking on Tokyo Olympics gold-medal winner Belinda Bencic in a repeat of the US Open quarter-finals, which Raducanu won in straight sets on her way to the title.
Nadal has a great rapport with the Mubadala World Tennis Championship fanbase, having been victorious in Abu Dhabi on five occasions, including the most recent edition in 2019.
“Abu Dhabi is a special place for me, a place where I have been many times and where I started my seasons many times,” said Nadal, who has returned to full training following a foot injury that has kept him away from the courts for months.
“Ever since I first came to Abu Dhabi, I’ve had a great response from the fans and I am sure the atmosphere is going to be special as always.”
John Lickrish, CEO of Flash Entertainment, the tournament owners, said: “Rafael Nadal and the Mubadala World Tennis Championship go hand in hand, so we’re extremely pleased that the player with the most appearances at our championship has declared himself fit to continue his remarkable run in Abu Dhabi.”