Abu Dhabi: Andy Murray will line up at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship here next month with plans to get his year off to a perfect start with a victory.
The two-time Grand Slam winner will be looking to set his stall out for the year early after a 2014 season hit by an injury and back surgery. The Scot rediscovered his form in recent months, winning titles in China, Vienna and Valencia to narrowly qualify for the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London.
He finished the season as world No. 6 and that flurry of victories is sure to be a source of confidence ahead of the 2015 season opener in Abu Dhabi from January 1 to 3.
As Murray prepares to make his fourth appearance at the tournament, he said: “I am excited about the upcoming season and I am working extremely hard in Miami right now to get myself in the best possible shape.
“Last year was about getting myself back up to the levels required to compete with the best in the world and in 2015 the plan is to take that a step further. Towards the end of the season I was building some real momentum and I’m looking forward to starting 2015 in Abu Dhabi.”
Murray will play his first match on day one of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship against Gael Monfils, who he beat in the quarter-finals of the French Open. The winner of that match will face world No. 3 Rafael Nadal, who beat him in the semi-finals at Roland Garros this year.
“Gael is an incredibly tough opponent but one of the most enjoyable guys to play against on the tour. We’ve only played five or six times but it’s always competitive so I’ll need to come out of the blocks fast,” Murray said.
“He’s a true character with some of the most natural ability I’ve ever seen, along with some pretty decent dance moves! If I can get the better of him then I’ll be playing Rafa in his first match of the year. If I’m going to win in Abu Dhabi I’ll have to beat some of the best tennis players in the world, so it’s not going to be easy, but it’s a challenge I am looking forward to.”
Six of the world’s best players will compete for the title in Abu Dhabi, with Murray joined by world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, Nadal, Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka and dynamic French duo Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Monfils. Between them, the line-up holds 24 Grand Slam titles and all three previous tournament champions.
Tickets for the event are on sale at www.ticketmaster.ae and all Virgin Megastore outlets across the UAE or by calling 800 TM UAE (800 86 823). Prices start from Dh50.