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Wawrinka pitted against Busta in opener

Nadal, Djokovic will join action on second day with byes

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Three-time Grand Slam winner, Stan Wawrinka, will kick-start the tournament against debutant and US Open semi-finalist, Pablo Carreno Busta in the Mubadala World Tennis Championship (MWTC) from December 28-30. The draw for the event was held at the tennis complex on Tuesday.

Wawrinka is taking to the court for the first time since the French Open Final and the action starts at 5pm on December 28. Opening day will also witness another MWTC debutant, World No. 5 Dominic Thiem, challenge Canadian Milos Raonic, who will be making his third consecutive appearance here.

Current world No. 1 Rafael Nadal and 12-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic both receive byes until day two, where they will then face the winners of day one on December 29.

Djokovic has also received a bye based on the ranking at the time of his injury post-Wimbledon. Thiem has been placed on the opposite side of the draw to Nadal based on his current ranking as the tournament’s second seeded player.

The 10th edition of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship sees the comeback of four tennis powerhouses: Nadal, Djokovic, Wawrinka and Raonic, who will all be looking to make their mark on their return to the court.

“This has to be one of the most highly anticipated Mubadala World Tennis Championship’s to date. With every player looking to start the season on the right foot in Abu Dhabi, we are expecting some explosive matches throughout the three days. The competition this year is going to be extremely competitive and should really set the tone for the rest of the season. We have an incredible combination of experienced MWTC Champions and players, as well as debutants, so it will be exceptionally exciting to see the on-court action unfold,” said John Lickrish, CEO, FLASH Entertainment.

Stan Wawrinka and Pablo Carreno Busta have only come head-to-head three times in their career, with Wawrinka having previously taken wins across the board, most recently in the semi-finals of Indian Wells.

For Wawrinka, an Olympic champion and member of Switzerland’s Davis Cup winning team, competing at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship isn’t something new as this year will be his fifth appearance. Carreno Busta is making his debut following a season, which saw him reach his first Grand Slam semi-final at the US Open.

The second match of day one will see Rio Open Champion Dominic Thiem challenge Milos Raonic to their third ever match head-to-head, hoping for his first win against the Canadian. Thiem has just enjoyed his best season of his still young career yet, while Raonic will be looking to make a successful return to the court at the start of the 2018 season.

 

Factbox

Fans attending the first day of the MWTC tournament activities on December 28, can expect a fun day out at the Tennis Village for Kid’s Day, with the chance to meet Rafael Nadal at his autograph signing, watch the players up close at their practice sessions and enjoy their Q&A’s, as well as enjoying a variety of games and activations.

Tickets to the Championship are on sale via www.ticketmaster.ae<http://www.ticketmaster.ae> and all Virgin Megastores across the UAE.

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