ABU DHABI: World No. 5 Andrey Rublev is heading to Abu Dhabi for the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, which returns after a year’s absence to the International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City, from Dec. 16-18.
The Russian tennis ace, who has enjoyed a successful 2021 season, knows the championship well having made his Abu Dhabi debut in 2017 and lined up for the 12th edition in 2019. Rublev’s confirmation means the championship now has five of the world’s top 20 male players, along with women’s US Open champion Emma Raducanu and fellow Olympic champion Belinda Bencic, lining up for the three-day festival.
Championship owners Flash Entertainment recently announced the tournament will operate at full capacity following the updated pandemic-related protocols for events, making it also accessible to international visitors after Abu Dhabi’s recent lifting of quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travelers.
“We’ve raised the bar every year since the inception of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship and always strive to bring the best players in the world to Abu Dhabi,” said John Lickrish, CEO, Flash Entertainment.
“Andrey has a great connection with the championship and has a strong following in the UAE, so his return to a full stadium will undoubtedly create a lot of enthusiasm among tennis fans in the UAE and beyond.”
Rublev is relishing his return to the UAE capital, having enjoyed a fine season during which he reached a career high of World No. 5, earned a gold medal in the mixed doubles at 2020 Tokyo Olympics and won the ATP title in Rotterdam — his eighth career title — as well as recording 47 singles victories.
“It’s really exciting to be heading back to Abu Dhabi and playing in front of the fans there. They really know their tennis and make a real difference. And with the event at full capacity, it’s going to be a great way to begin a busy 2022 season,” said the 24-year-old.