A galaxy of sport stars will shine upon Abu Dhabi as the Mubadala World Tennis Championship arrives in town.
Icons such as Serena and Venus Williams, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Kevin Anderson will battle it out for glory at Zayed Sports City from December 27-29.
It’s the latest major sporting spectacle to be hosted here, following the likes of the FIFA Club World Cup and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
And it promises to be an occasion to remember as the 11th staging of the ever-popular tennis showcase arrives with arguably its strongest line-up ever.
However, it’s not all about the action on the court.
This year, the nearby Tennis Village will play host to a range of awesome events and activities, with the stars themselves set to mingle among fans.
Here’s a quick guide to each of the three days’ festivities.
Day One – Thursday December 27
The on-the-court action kicks-off with defending MWTC champion and 2018 Wimbledon finalist, Kevin Anderson, meeting Australian Open Semi-Finalist, Hyeon Chung, in the opening match.
This will be followed by French Open Finalist and world number 8, Dominic Thiem, taking on Karen Khachanov, world number 11 and winner of three ATP titles.
The final match of the day will see 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams battle it out with 7-time Grand Slam champion and older sister, Venus Williams, in what will be their first ever match in Abu Dhabi.
Meanwhile, at the Tennis Village, the whole family will be treated to a myriad of fun activities and even a chance to meet the tennis superstars, including the sport’s most famous sibling duo, Serena and Venus Williams, and Spanish legend Rafa Nadal.
As if meeting their favourite tennis players isn’t enough, the younger fans will also have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have a mini-rally and get their autographs.
And the cherry on top, on Day One, children aged 2-12 years can enter for free along with the purchase of an adult ticket.
In addition, tournament ambassador and Aussie legend Pat Cash will host a Q&A session with Venus Williams and four female athletes from the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy including Zahra Lari (UAE Figure Skater), Fatima Alamri (UAE Basketball player), Nouf Alanzi (UAE Football player) and Fatima Alali (UAE Ice Hockey player).
Day Two – Friday December 28
With all six men’s players including world number one Novak Djokovic and world number two Rafael Nadal in action and entertainment on until midnight, Day Two is not to be missed.
Designed to entice food lovers to the tournament, the Village will stage a live cooking show alongside defending MWTC champion Kevin Anderson and Pat Cash – and will include impressive food and drink choices with tennis-themed dishes plus an entertaining live music performance by FAFA, the winning band from the Emerging Talent Competition.
Plus, there will be a meet and greet session with Serbian ace Novak Djokovic, as well as open picnic areas where fans can sit back, relax and soak up the atmosphere while enjoying a delicious dish or two.
Day Three – Saturday 29th December
Last but certainly not the least, Day Three, will see the finalists battle it out for the MWTC title, while the Tennis Village will hold a stunning musical performance with artists from Abu Dhabi Classics to bring the curtains down on what will no doubt be a fantastic three days of tennis action and entertainment.
Tickets are priced from Dhs100 and can be purchased from www.ticketmaster.ae or by calling 800 86 823 and all Virgin Megastores across the UAE.
From Dhs100. December 27-29. International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi (800 86 823).