Six of the world’s best tennis players are making their way to Abu Dhabi in order to kick-off the new season at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships from 1st to 3rd January 2015.
Since the inaugural event in 2008, the exhibition tournament has welcomed the best players of the ATP World Tour including Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
This year the tournament welcomes back world number one Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and reigning Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka. The Spaniards Nicolas Alamagro and Feliciano López will replace previously confirmed Frenchmen Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils, who both pulled out of the tournament due to injury.
During the three-day competition the players will face each other at the International Tennis Complex at Zayed Sports City in a single elimination series of matches before the last two men standing go head to head in the final on 3rd January. The tournament marks the start of the new season and therefore the players will be ready to fight for the first title in 2015 – not to mention the US-$ 250.000 prize purse.
The players and the draw:
Novak Djokovic The Joker returns to Abu Dhabi as reigning Mubadala WTC champion after beating David Ferrer last year. The world number one receives a bye in the opening round and will face either Almagro or Wawrinka in the second semi-final.
Andy Murray The world number six, who nabbed three ATP titles at the end of the 2014 season will be pitched against López for the first match on 1st January. In nine previous encounters, the 27-year-old Scot only lost two sets.
Stanislas Wawrinka After admitting he wasn’t at his best at last year’s season opener, the rest of 2014 proved successful for the Swiss when he gained his first Grand Slam title in Melbourne. Wawrinka will face Almagro for the tenth time with the Swiss leading 6-3 in head to head record.
Rafael Nadal Injury forced the world number three to take a break at the end of last season. Nadal has not played a match since losing the quarterfinal in Basel to Borna Coric in October. The Spaniard also gets a bye in the first round and will take on either Murray of López in the semi-final.
Feliciano López The world number 14 has just finished his best season yet. The man from Toledo will be keen to make a strong start into 2015 when he makes his Abu Dhabi debut. López defeated Nadal at the ATP Masters in Shanghai and if he stays in good form he may face his compatriot once again.
Nicolas Almagro The world number 71 treated tennis fans in the capital of the U.A.E. to a stunning final two years ago when he went head to head with Djokovic in a two hours and 34 minutes encounter. Although he became runner-up, the Spaniard will be happy to step finally back on court. Almagro makes his return to the circuit after he was forced to retire in Roland Garros’ first round in May due to foot injury.