Abu Dhabi: World No 2 Ons Jabeur, the first Arab to reach a Grand Slam final, will return to the UAE to defend her Mubadala World Tennis Championship crown in Abu Dhabi. Organisers have confirmed the Tunisian, who contested the US Open final earlier this month and reached the Wimbledon final two months earlier, will take on British No 1 Emma Raducanu on Day 1 of the Championship to be held from December 16-18.
Last year, Jabeur became the first Arab to contest, and win, the annual Mubadala World Tennis Championship at Zayed Sports City. The 28-year-old faced Tokyo Olympic gold medallist Belinda Bencic in the headline women’s match and came from a set down to claim a memorable 4-6, 6-3, (10-8) victory, to the delight of a raucous crowd inside the International Tennis Centre.
“Playing in Abu Dhabi is always exciting,” Jabeur said. “I had a fantastic experience there in 2021 and I don’t want to lose the opportunity to defend my championship title this year.”
On the opposite side of the net will be Raducanu, who triumphed at the US Open last year to become the first British female to win a Grand Slam singles title since 1977. She was the first player to win the US Open women’s singles title without dropping a set since Serena Williams in 2014.
“I am thrilled to finally be making my debut in Abu Dhabi,” said Raducanu.