Serena Williams to take on Jelena Ostapenko in Abu Dhabi

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Serena Williams will face Jelena Ostapenko in an exhibition match at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship (MWTC) in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, December 30.

The showdown, between two Grand Slam champions, will take place at 17:00 at Zayed Sports City.

It is the first time a women’s tennis match will be staged at the Abu Dhabi showpiece.

Ostapenko stunned Simona Halep to win the French Open last June.

Williams will be making her first appearance since becoming a mother.


“I am delighted to be returning to the court in Abu Dhabi for the first time since the birth of my daughter in September,” said Williams.

“The Mubadala World Tennis Championship has long marked the beginning of the men’s global tennis season and I am excited and honoured to be making my comeback as part of the first women to participate in the event. I look forward to seeing the fans in Abu Dhabi at the 10th edition of the Championship very soon.”

Ostapenko is ranked No. 7 in the world and has never faced Williams on the professional circuit.

“I am thrilled to be playing in Abu Dhabi at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship. This will be the first time that women have taken part in the event and it is a huge honour to be part of that history after watching the tournament for many years. Last season was really incredible for me and I cannot wait to continue the start of my new season at such an amazing event,” said the 20-year-old Latvian.

Ticket holders for day 3 can attend Williams’ match. Tickets for the MWTC are on sale at www.ticketmaster.ae and all Virgin Megastores across the UAE.

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Twitter reacts as Serena Williams is confirmed for MWTC in Abu Dhabi

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The news of Serena Williams’ return to tennis at this weekend’s Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi has sent social media into frenzy.

Williams has not competed since winning a record-breaking 23rd Grand Slam at the Australian Open last January.

She delivered her first child, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. in September and while she had expressed her intention to defend her Melbourne crown next month, the 36-year-old is yet to confirm whether she will be ready for the opening Slam of the season.

Williams’ first appearance in Abu Dhabi comes as an encouraging sign that she might indeed be ready to compete on tour in January.

Here’s how Twitter reacted to news of her MWTC participation…

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Serena Williams to compete at MWTC in Abu Dhabi

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Guess who's back? Serena Williams.

Serena Williams is set to compete at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi against a yet-to-be confirmed opponent, Sport360 has learned.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion has been away from tour since she won the Australian Open last January and has been on maternity leave since having her first child Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. in September.

Williams will play on Saturday December 30 at Zayed Sports City, in what is a massive boost for the tournament and tennis fans in the UAE. Her opponent hasn’t been announced but it is believed she will face a fellow Grand Slam champion.

The Abu Dhabi showpiece, taking place from December 28-30, had witnessed numerous withdrawals with Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka and Milos Raonic all pulling out in recent days.

The trio were replaced by Roberto Bautista Agut, Kevin Anderson, and Andrey Rublev, respectively.

Ticket holders for day 3 can attend Williams’ match. This is the first time a women’s tennis match will take place at the MWTC.

The tournament is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Tickets for the MWTC are on sale at www.ticketmaster.ae and all Virgin Megastores across the UAE.

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