The Mubadala World Tennis Championship (MWTC) is one of the highlights on the Abu Dhabi sporting calendar and, once again, many of the world’s finest players will be holding court from Thursday December 28 to Saturday 30. Star names this year are world number one Rafael Nadal, crowd favourite Novak Djokovic, and rising star Dominic Thiem. They’re joined on the roster by multiple Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic and Pablo Carreño Busta for three nights of world-class tennis in Zayed Sport City. Sure, fans are hoping to see a Djokovic and Nadal final, seeing as the pair have won seven titles between them in Abu Dhabi so far, but the only true guarantee is seriously impressive sport.
Now in its 10th year, the MWTC brings in more than just high-profile players. If previous years are anything to go by, it will also be one of the more accessible sporting occasions to roll through the capital. One-day adult tickets can be bought for as little as Dhs100 (swanky Dhs995 tickets are also available) and spectators can get up-close and personal with players as meet and greets, autograph sessions and photo opportunities have become as much a part of the Mubadala experience as the exciting on-court action.
Don’t expect the sort of hi-jinx exhibition shots that are a fixture on the seniors tour, however. The standard of tennis is high and rivalries and competitive advantages are sought for the season ahead. Courtside you can expect to see legend Pat Cash partaking in hosting duties, while the community feel will be enhanced by kids’ training sessions and the fun tennis village that features retail and sporting activities between matches.
From Dhs100 (adults, one day), Dhs50 (kids 2-12, one day); from Dhs550 (three-day package). Thu Dec 28-Sat 30. International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City, www.mubadalawtc.com (800 86 823).