Casper Ruud is arguably the most improved player on the ATP tour this year, having won five tour titles in 2021.
Gulf Today, Sport Reporter
The Mubadala World Tennis Championship continues to make way for the best with two more world-class players confirmed for the 13th edition of the Arabian Gulf’s leading professional tennis experience, which returns with fans in attendance at the International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi, from Dec.16–18.
Championship owners Flash Entertainment have unveiled Casper Ruud, winner of the most ATP titles in 2021 and current world No.8, as well as Denis Shapovalov, who reached his first Grand Slam semi-final at Wimbledon this year and is current world No.13, as the first two male players for this year’s event.
The pair, both regarded as future Grand Slam champions, join women’s US Open winner Emma Raducanu and her opponent on day one, Olympic gold medallist Belinda Bencic, in signing up to make their Abu Dhabi and Championship debuts. The remaining four players for a promised world-class eight-player line-up will be announced in the coming weeks.
John Lickrish, CEO, Flash Entertainment, said: “Announcing the players for the Championship is always a special moment and we have two special players in Casper and Denis. Our goal is to bring the world’s best talent and build on the legacy of our Championship and both players are the perfect fit.”
“They are young, supremely talented, have had successes this season and are great additions to the line-up alongside Emma and Belinda. We are once again on track to bring the best-of-the-best from the world of tennis. Stay tuned for more announcements and rest assured the Championship is, as always, a must attend for all tennis fans,” added Lickrish.
Norwegian ace Ruud is arguably the most improved player on the ATP tour this year, having won five tour titles in 2021, his latest victory coming at the San Diego Open earlier this October. It is a run that has seen him break into the world’s top 10, the first Norwegian to do so.
“I’ve had a great season this year and I’m excited to make my debut at this year’s Mubadala World Tennis Championship. I’m eager to keep improving next year, so Abu Dhabi in December provides a chance to play against the world’s best in preparation for another big season, while exploring a new destination and new cultures,” said Ruud.
Meanwhile, Canadian star Shapovalov, the current world No.13, has had an impressive year, achieving his best Grand Slam results in reaching the semi-finals at Wimbledon and in 2020 became one of only two Canadian men to achieve an ATP Top-10 ranking.
“It’s always nice to play in a new city and get the opportunity to see and do different things. I’m excited to come to Abu Dhabi to see all it has to offer, and I’ve heard great things about the venue so I’m looking forward to playing against the best in the world and putting on a show for the fans,” said Shapovalov.
In line with the latest Abu Dhabi government directives for live events, the 13th Mubadala World Tennis Championship is ready to welcome fans at full capacity, and with the star line-up taking shape, it's now time to get tickets.
“Since its inception, the Mubadala World Tennis Championship has delivered an unmissable experience in every edition. It’s great news, and a testament to Abu Dhabi’s capability as a host for major events, that we can return to full capacity, and we want as many people as possible to experience the thrill of live events again. So, I urge everyone to get those tickets now to avoid disappointment,” added Lickrish.
Speaking about her plans to open a tennis academy in Dubai, she added: "My new project is about opening a tennis academy here in Dubai for local Emirati tennis player to become a champion and one day have the chance to play in Wimbledon and elsewhere..."
The 25-year-old, a former doubles number one, defeated Pavlyuchenkova 6-1 2-6 6-4 to become the first Czech to lift the Suzanne Lenglen Cup since Hana Mandlikova, who represented the former Czechoslovakia, triumphed in 1981.
Bencic, 24, is looking forward to continuing her tennis journey, experiencing the game in a new country, and is eager to show her defeat against Raducanu at the US Open was a one-off.
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