ABU DHABI, January 2, 2016
As Zayed Sports City prepared to play host to a turbo-charged final between two-time Mubadala World Tennis Championship winner Rafael Nadal and Abu Dhabi newcomer Milos Raonic, the tournament’s off-court activity also reached its climax.
World number four, Stan Wawrinka, and South Africa’s Kevin Anderson were both in action on the practice courts hosting coaching sessions for fans and lucky competition winners, whilst former Wimbledon champion and tournament ambassador, Pat Cash, shared his knowledge and expertise with the UAE national tennis team.
Shaikha Al Janahi, 10 years old: “It’s been great to play tennis with Pat Cash. We learned a lot from him; he focused on helping us improve and gave us tips on how we can play better tennis. It’s my dream to be a tennis player so I’m glad I was able to be a part of this unique experience.”
Visitors to Tennis Village, which is free and open to non-ticket holders, were also treated to a special appearance from Rafael Nadal’s long-time coach and uncle, Toni Nadal, who gave a unique insight into the world of one of tennis’ most legendary players.
Toni Nadal: “Rafael has always had a strong character, from a very young age, and this is very important to become successful. However, he also always followed the rules and listened carefully to his coach. He told me “four eyes are better than two”. Ultimately, hard work is the most important thing, and believing that anything is possible.”
Meanwhile in Tennis Village, fans had the chance to meet Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Milos Raonic when they signed autographs for expectant visitors of all ages.