Andy Murray during one of his past campaigns at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Abu Dhabi: The opening day of the 13th Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi on December 16 will see offer the fans the chance to witness two British icons in Andy Murray, the three-time grand slam winner, and teen sensation Emma Raducanu in action. Murray was confirmed as the eighth and final star player for the championship alongside the draw for the championship, which will be held at the International Tennis Centre at Zayed Sports City.

It was nothing short of a casting coup as Murray, a two-time champion in Mubadala, returns 12 years after his first scene of triumph in 2009. A champion in 2009 and 2015, Murray joins a field featuring three of the world’s top 10 male players: Andrey Rublev (No.5); Rafael Nadal (6) and Scandinavian star Casper Ruud (No.8). With Denis Shapovalov (14) and Dominic Thiem (15) also lining up, this year’s championship also boasts five of the world’s top 15.

“I’ve got many happy memories of Abu Dhabi and I’m looking forward to returning.” said Murray. “With Emma (Raducanu) also playing on day one, we will be flying the flag for British tennis and looking to put on a strong display.”


Ticketholders are in for a treat on Day 1, as Casper Ruud, winner of the most ATP titles in 2021, will take on Wimbledon semi-finalist Denis Shapovalov in the Championship’s opening match. It will be followed by Thiem’s return to competitive tennis when he takes on Murray.

A spectacular Day 1 will be closed by the much-anticipated women’s match between US Open champion Raducanu and Tokyo Olympics singles gold medallist Belinda Bencic, a rematch of their US Open quarter-final, which Raducanu won en route to her fairytale Grand Slam victory in New York.

Day 2, on December 17, will see world No.6 and defending champion Nadal and No.5 Rublev enter the fray when they face the winners of the Day 1 men’s matches in the semi-finals after the fifth-place play-off. Rublev will face the winner of Ruud and Shapovalov whilst five-time winner Nadal will take on either Thiem or Murray in a blockbuster match. The final day of the three-day festival will see a third-place play-off followed by the final.

“The draw is always a milestone moment, but it feels a bit extra special this year as we look forward to the return of our Championship with full capacity,” said John Lickrish, CEO, Flash Entertainment. “Andy has a special place in Abu Dhabi as the first champion on this tournament back in 2009. With his return completing our line-up, this year’s field is one of the strongest in the Championship’s history with the perfect blend of youth and experience, Abu Dhabi crowd favourites and exciting debutants. It’s shaping up to be a fantastic three-day festival on and off court.”

Tickets, starting from AED 100 for adults and AED 50 for children, are available from ticketmaster.ae and Virgin Megastores across the UAE. In line with current protocols, measures will be in place within the stadium and throughout the Tennis Village to ensure the health and safety of fans, players and officials.