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Gael Monfils says he will use this week's Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi to try out some new shots as he prepares for the Australian Open next month.

The Abu Dhabi event signals the start of the new tennis season despite beginning at the tail-end of 2011 and, even though it is technically an exhibition tournament, many of the world's top players are involved. Those following the tennis odds online should remember this.

Monfils meets world number one Novak Djokovic in the first round while Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer are also both taking part.

The event is being used as an early warm-up for the first Grand Slam of the season in Melbourne in a fortnight and therefore is anticipated to be a very competitive tournament.

Monfils believes it is the perfect way to start the new season with a test against the best player in the world and he will be using the encounter to experiment with his game somewhat ahead of the more-important ranking tournaments.

He said: "Playing against Novak is a great first match of the season. It's great to play a heavy match against the world number one and I will be practising new things I have been working on.

"My aim for this tournament is to be aggressive and try out some new shots."

The winner of the clash will meet Federer in Friday's semi-finals.
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