ABU DHABI, December 26, 2018
One day ahead of the start of the 2018 Mubadala World Tennis Championship (MWTC), four of the six men, who will be in action in Abu Dhabi met the media on Wednesday. Entering its 11th edition, the tournament will run between 27th to 29th December.
Defending MWTC champion, Kevin Anderson, French Open finalist, Dominic Thiem, Australian Open semi-finalist Hyeon Chung and recent Paris Masters Champion, Karen Khachanov have already arrived in the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, staying at the players’ official hotel on Saadiyat Island.
“It is a very tough line-up,” said Thiem, who will open his second campaign in the desert against Khachanov. “Karen is a top player with fast and powerful strokes. I am pretty sure that he will enter the top 10 during this season.
“I had spent 10 days of holiday before I went to Tenerife for the pre-season. It was my seventh time there. It almost feels like a second home to me. It was a good preparation with good practice partner such as Jan-Lennard Struff, Joao Sousa and David Goffin. Yesterday I arrived at Dubai and now I am here,” the World No. 8 described his time between the Nitto ATP Finals in London and the start of the 2019 season.
“I am very pleased with this year, in particular with the Grand Slams. Reaching the final at Roland Garros and going deep at the US Open makes me happy. I hope it’s getting even better next year. I still want to improve my results at the ATP Masters 1000 events, though.”
Galo Blanco will not support the Austrian in 2019, as the pair parted ways. The Spaniard has started to work for Kosmos Tennis. “I was sad that we had to split up but there was no other possibility with his new job. We had a great year together. I am still looking for another coach. Günter Bresnik will always be the main person but it would be nice to have a former player travelling with me.”
The tennis superstars are taking in some local culture at @qasralhosn. A quick prequel to the matches (over fish nets!), and some local coffee tasting. Tennis all weekend at #MWTC starting tomorrow! Buy your tickets HERE – https://t.co/AaDLqtLe3b #Tennis #Championship #AbuDhabi pic.twitter.com/4x47bSMUtQ
— MWTC (@MubadalaTennis) 26. Dezember 2018
Khachanov was also in a good mood. “The weather is good. We can enjoy the sunshine. The hotel is also very nice. So everything is fine,” the World No. 11 from Russia commented.
“The pre-season went well. I did a lot of hard work. I feel confident right now but everything starts from zero again. I will try to bring my game altogether in order to be ready for the first ATP event in Doha next week.”
Is there anything, Khachanov wants to do off the court in 2019? “I want to make a parachute jump. Maybe in Dubai on The Palm,” he told the media with a smile.
Photo Gallery (by Florian Heer):