Nadal, Federer to start season in Abu Dhabi
World numbers one and two will be joined by other Grand Slam finalists in Mubadala Championship in December
By M. Satya Narayan, Senior Reporter
Published: 00:05 November 2, 2010
Abu Dhabi: World No 1 Rafael Nadal and No 2 Roger Federer have confirmed that they will, for the third successive year, launch their campaign for the new season in Abu Dhabi.
Nadal, the defending champion, and Federer, will be joined by four other Grand Slam finalists — World No 5 Robin Soderling, No 6 Tomas Berdych, No 13 Jo-Wilfred Tsonga and No 20 Marcos Baghdatis — in the three-day Mubadala World Tennis Championship starting on December 30.
The six players will chase the winner-take-all prize fund of $250,000 (Dh917,500) but more significantly will be starting off their preparations with the year's first Grand Slam, the Australian Open, on their radar.
"Abu Dhabi is a very special place to me," Nadal said in a message. "I've enjoyed the best season of my career so far and it all started with a victory in Abu Dhabi, so it holds great memories. The early season momentum gained in Abu Dhabi is good preparation for the Australian Open."
Federer said: "To win the Mubadala World Tennis Championship against such a strong field will be the perfect start to the 2011 season, as this world class tournament has put Abu Dhabi on the global tennis stage. Abu Dhabi is a place I always want to win in".
At a press conference here at the recently upgraded Abu Dhabi International Tennis Complex where the event will be held, Abdullah Al Shamsi, representing title sponsors Mubadala said: "Apart from our aim to bring world class sporting activating to Abu Dhabi and build the profile of Abu Dhabi we are also committed to the local community with our Mubadala Tennis in School programme and the Mubadala Community Cup".
John Lickrish, Managing Director, FLASH Entertainment said: "The global tennis season starts right here in Abu Dhabi with the Mubadala World Tennis Championship".
"Every single player is of grand-slam pedigree, with each having played in or won at least one grand-slam final, so it is going to be intense on-court action from start to finish," Lickrish said.
The Championship runs from 30th December 2010 to January 1, 2011.