Day one of the 10th edition of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship (MWTC) got off to an exciting start as future stars of the game got the chance to interact and learn from the very best.
The Tennis Village at the International Tennis Centre at Zayed Sports City was a hive of activity as kids as young as 10 years old rubbed shoulders with the likes of US Open semi-finalist Pablo Carreno Busta, world No. 5 Dominic Thiem, Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, upcoming star Andrey Rublev and US Open finalist Kevin Anderson.
The players took time ahead of their matches to share advice and tips with local children, as well as train with them, hoping to inspire the future generation of players.
The MWTC provides a unique, once in a lifetime opportunity for youngsters to practice with their heroes and offers fans unrivalled access to the world’s leading players.
Commenting on his participation at the Mubadala Community Cup (MCC) under 14s clinic, Carreno Busta said: “It’s really fun to play with these kids and I think it is very important for them to play with top players and I hope that they enjoyed the clinic. I sure did.”
British national Amber Razzaq was among the group of kids who took part in the clinic as one of the winners of the MCC. She said: “It was a great experience for me as a tennis player because usually we see these players only on TV and you never dream of seeing them in real life let alone playing with them. So today was actually a great experience for me to learn and improve.”
Fans also enjoyed a Q&A session with Australian legend and MWTC ambassador Pat Cash and Thiem, who along with Rublev, signed autographs for the youngsters.
Visitors to the Tennis Village also enjoyed fun games and other engaging activities to test their tennis skills at the Mubadala’s Interactive Zone.
The 10th edition of the MWTC will run from December 28 to 30.
Fans at this year’s tournament can celebrate watching some of the world’s best players by attending Katy Perry’s New Year’s Eve concert. If you have already purchased a ticket for the MWTC, you can now receive a 20 per cent discount when purchasing a General Admission ticket to Katy Perry’s New Year Eve Concert online through www.ticketmaster.ae.
MWTC General Admission three-day pass holders are now also eligible to receive two tickets to the Katy Perry concert for the price of one.
Former world No. 1 Andy Murray made a surprise appearance at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship on Thursday, where he hit the practice courts in preparation for his long-awaited return to the tour.
Murray hasn't played a match since his Wimbledon quarter-final exit at the hands of Sam Querrey. The three-time Grand Slam champion has been out of action nursing a hip injury and fans flocked to the stands by the practice court at Zayed Sports City to see how well the Brit is moving.
The 30-year-old is scheduled to compete at the Brisbane International, which begins on Sunday.
During a practice session that lasted nearly an hour and a half, Murray hit serves, forehands, backhands, ran down drop shots, and worked on his passing shots -- among other things -- joined on court by his coach Jamie Delgado, his fitness trainer Matt Little and another member of his team.
Murray is likely to stay here in Abu Dhabi for two more days where he'll get the opportunity to practice with the likes of Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem.
— Reem Abulleil (@ReemAbulleil) December 28, 2017
Andy Murray will step-up his preparations for the 2018 season by conducting a training block at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship.
The Scot, who is only practicing and not competing in Abu Dhabi, will take to the courts at the Zayed Sports City venue to fine-tune his off-season before travelling to Australia.
It is still unclear, however, just when Murray will be ready to return to the match court proper and a decision is still to be made over his participation in the upcoming Brisbane International event.
For Murray and his team, though, the ultimate goal is for him to be in the best possible shape ahead of the Australian Open, beginning on January 15.
Murray, a three-time Grand Slam winner, has not played a competitive match since a five-set defeat to American Sam Querrey in the Wimbledon quarter-finals last July.
Since then, the 30-year-old has had to contend with a nagging right hip problem.
The Brit will have the chance to hit with the likes of Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem in the UAE capital.