Abu Dhabi: Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev are poised to renew their US Open final rivalry in Abu Dhabi after being confirmed as the first two players for the Mubadala World Tennis Championship 2019.
The 12th edition of the event takes place at the International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City, in Abu Dhabi, from December 19-21.
Spanish superstar Nadal, a four-time winner of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, secured his 19th Grand Slam title following a four hour, 50 minute five-set tussle with Russian ace Medvedev in New York earlier this month.
Depending on the draw for this December, the pair could well be picking up where they left off in the UAE capital. Nadal, who won the title in 2010, 2011 and twice in a calendar year in 2016 is looking forward to returning to the UAE capital, where he lost in the 2018 semi-final to South African Kevin Anderson.
“I’m really looking forward to be returning to the Mubadala World Tennis Championship. It’s a great event and offers the best preparation for a fast start to the new season. Every time I come to Abu Dhabi I feel at home and I’m always treated so well. The spectators are knowledgeable and know how to have fun and I have very good memories playing here,” said world Nadal.
Medvedev will be looking for a bit of “home support” when he makes his Mubadala World Tennis Championship debut as he looks to go all the way having lost out to Nadal in the US Open.
“I’ve heard so much about the Championship from my friends and there’s a lot of Russian support in Abu Dhabi. I know it’s also a popular holiday destination for my fellow countrymen so hopefully I can draw on that in my first appearance,” said the 23-year-old Russian.
Securing Nadal and Medvedev is the latest high point for one of Abu Dhabi’s most popular sporting events, which this year has been brought forward a week from its traditional spot on the calendar to give domestic tennis fans and international visitors the opportunity to capitalise on the Championship’s festival atmosphere.
“We strive to deliver a world-class line-up year on year and securing Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev is yet another statement of intent as we continue to evolve this special championship. Having played in Abu Dhabi five times, Rafael is a staple at the championship and we look forward to welcoming the four-time-champion once again. The strategic switch in dates allows UAE residents and visitors alike to capitalise on Abu Dhabi’s famed winter sun while immersing themselves in some fan-village fun. Getting the chance to see the world’s best tennis players completes this unmissable experience,” said John Lickrish, CEO, Flash Entertainment.