Two of the hottest names in tennis are confirmed for the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi.
Rafa Nadal and Daniil Medvedev will be part of the men’s field contesting one of the region’s most popular tournaments.
Spanish superstar Nadal, a four-time winner of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, secured his 19th Grand Slam title following a titanic 4hr, 50 minute five-set tussle with Russian ace Medvedev in New York earlier this month.
“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. No.2 Nadal.
Medvedev is at a career high number four in the world and is hoping he can count on some vociferous Russian support in Abu Dhabi.
“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.
“I know the line-up will be very strong so it will be a good test of where I am heading into the new season as I look to build on what has been a great year for me so far. I will give my all and put on the best show possible for the spectators. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Securing Nadal and Medvedev is the latest high point for the event which has been brought forward a week this year 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.
“Rafael and Daniil showed during their US Open final that they really are at the top of their game and that is only a good thing for the Mubadala World Tennis Championship. Spectators are in for thrilling on-court action and great off-court entertainment,” added Lickrish
The 12th edition of the event takes place at the International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City, in Abu Dhabi, from 19-21 December.
Tickets start from AED 100 for Adults and are now on sale at www.ticketmaster.ae and Virgin Megastores across the UAE. 3 Day and Travel packages are also available at 20% discount.
Premier Hospitality Packages are also on sale, offering fans a premium F&B menu, courtside seating, exclusive Q&A sessions with a star player and much more. More details are available on www.mubadalawtc.com.
Rafael Nadal overcame Daniil Medvedev in five breathtaking sets to claim his 19th grand slam title at the US Open.
The Spanish second seed led by two sets and a break, but he needed to halt a thrilling comeback from Russian rebel Medvedev to win an epic showdown 7-5 6-3 5-7 4-6 6-4.
Hot-headed Medvedev was playing in his first grand slam final, having revelled in his new role as public enemy number one of the New York crowd.
The 23-year-old had been jeered by those in the stands throughout the fortnight after he flipped them the middle finger during the third round.
Yet when he launched an unlikely counter-attack in the third set it was like Rocky in reverse, the fans around a packed Arthur Ashe suddenly chanting his name.
However, Nadal dug as deep as he has probably ever had to to secure a dramatic victory in four hours and 50 minutes to move to within one major title of Roger Federer’s record tally of 20.
Nadal, whose hackles were raised when he was given a time violation at break point down in the very first game, took the opening set with a break at 6-5 thanks to a whipped forehand winner and a lob which Medvedev dumped into the net.
The Russian saved four break points in his next two service games but the jabs kept on landing, Nadal breaking through again for 4-2 and taking a two-set lead.
Fatigue seemed to be setting in for Medvedev, who was being pushed all around the court, and when a backhand hit the net at break point in the fifth game of the third set he looked beaten.
But he kept swinging, somehow breaking back to level, and with the crowd now firmly behind their new darling, he repeated the dose at 6-5 to take it to a fourth set with Nadal now the man looking vulnerable.
Gutsy hold after gutsy hold followed until Nadal sent a forehand wide and Medvedev had a break point, which he dispatched with a stunning return to force a decider.
It was sensational stuff, but the odds were still stacked against Medvedev. He had never before won a five-set match and Nadal had lost only twice from two sets up in his career.
Nadal’s delaying tactics were irking the Russian but he fashioned two break points, then a third, only for Nadal to escape again.
When Nadal eked out a break point of his own at 2-2, Medvedev aced him. But when Nadal created another, a double-handed backhand putting him back in control.
Still the drama continued.
Nadal broke again but, serving for the match, he was given a second time violation by umpire Ali Nili and docked a serve at break point down, and promptly sent his second serve wide. Umpiring controversy is not confined to Serena Williams here, it seems.
Medvedev saved two match points on serve but when Nadal had the ball in his hand again he finally got over the line, a long Medvedev return bringing to an end a truly remarkable final.
An exhausted Nadal was in tears as he sat in his chair waiting for the post-match presentations.
He admitted: “It’s been one of the most emotional nights in my tennis career.
“It was an amazing final, since I had the match under control more or less. Tonight everybody saw why he is number four in the world.
“The way he was able to fight, to change the rhythm of the match, was incredible.”
Provided by Press Association Sport
Rafael Nadal reached the US Open final after a straight-sets win over Matteo Berrettini.
The Spanish second seed will face Russian Daniil Medvedev, who made his first grand slam final after beating Grigor Dimitrov, also in three.
Here, PA looks back at day 12 and ahead to day 13 at the US Open.
Shot of the day
Medvedev looked almost apologetic after this defensive forehand chop turned into a spectacular winner down the line.
Stat of the day
Medvedev is the third player, after Ivan Lendl and Andre Agassi, to reach the finals in Washington, Canada, Cincinnati and at the US Open in the same season.
Miss of the day
Berrettini’s drop shot had been working well until, at set point in a first-set tie-break, he left one short. It might have been a different story had the Italian made it.
When I was going to the USA, I didn’t know it would be this good. I have to say I love the USA! – Daniil Medvedev, the new diplomat
Serena’s record attempt
Serena Williams will equal Magaret Court’s all-time record of 24 grand slam victories if she beats Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu in Saturday’s final.
Order of play
Arthur Ashe Stadium:
Chan Hao-ching/Michael Venus v Bethanie Mattek-Sands/Jamie Murray
Bianca Andrescu v Serena Williams