Caroline Wozniacki expects a “hilarious” time on court when she teams up with Novak Djokovic to represent the UAE Royals at the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) while Serena Williams revealed she won’t be participating in the Dubai leg.
Wozniacki confirmed she will be at the Hamdan Sports Complex from December 11-13 where she and good friend Djokovic will be joined by Goran Ivanisevic, Eugenie Bouchard, Janko Tipsarevic, Nenad Zimonjic and Malek Jaziri in the UAE Royals squad.
“I’m planning to play. It’s the beginning of December for me, so I’m excited for that,” Wozniacki said.
“I think it’s going to be great for me. Because the off season this year is so long, it will be nice for me to get a few sets in just before the real season starts.”
“I definitely think that it’s going to be great, and it’s going to be a lot of fun as well. I’m on a team with Novak and we’re good friends. He’s always hilarious.”
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) October 28, 2014
World No. 1 Williams headlines the Singapore Slammers team and while she will be competing in two of the four IPTL stops, sadly for UAE fans, Dubai is not one of them.
Williams will be featuring in the first two legs, in Manila from November 28-30 and Singapore from December 2-4.
Asked whether a showing in Dubai was on the cards, the American said: “I wish. I love going to Dubai, but I don’t think so.”
Meanwhile, the IPTL announced the four coaches who will be leading the star-studded teams.
The UAE Royals will be guided by former South African doubles specialist John-Laffnie de Jager and French magician Fabrice Santoro will coach the Indian Aces, which includes Roger Federer.
— UAE Royals (@UAERoyals) October 28, 2014
Josh Eagle will take over the Singapore Slammers while Filipino-American Treat Huey, the current doubles world No. 53, will coach the Manila Mavericks.
All four coaches will help their respective teams formulate a winning strategy as they compete across five single-set matches involving men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, mixed doubles and past champion’s singles to determine a winner.
Don’t miss the chance to win an opportunity to play with the likes of Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic by taking part in the seventh edition of the Mubadala Community Cup.
The largest amateur tennis tournament in the region takes place in November across various locations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and is open to all ages.
The eventual winner, runners-up and raffle picks from each of the six age groups will be able to meet tennis stars on court during the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, which runs at the start of January.
Players will face-off in a roundrobin format in the six categories – 10s and under, 12s and under, 14s and under, 16s and under, adults mixed doubles and the newly introduced coaches doubles.
The inter-Emirate play-off will also return after being added to last year’s tournament and will see the winners from Abu Dhabi meet with the winners from Dubai in December to crown the UAE’s ultimate Community Cup champion.
In addition to the Community Cup, the Mubadala Tennis in Schools programme has been introduced from the start of the academic year up until May to give students more opportunities to play the sport.
Each participating school will receive two visits per month from a professional UAE tennis coach who will help develop students, as well as mini-tennis kits. Two students from each school will be chosen to show their skills on centre court on the first day of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship.
“We are committed to helping develop Emirati youth into wellrounded individuals who realise the importance of health and fitness,” Nadine Saleh Hassan, head of social development and partnerships, said speaking on behalf of title sponsor Mubadala.
“Extending community programs like Mubadala Tennis in Schools will help instil a mindset of healthy living through regular exercise.
We’re excited to see how ongoing coaching and opportunities to play in tournaments like the Mubadala Community Cup can help grow talent locally so that in the future we might see UAE stars in the game.”
The Abu Dhabi locations for the Community Cup are Zayed Sports City, The Club, Beach Rotana and Abu Dhabi Country Club. Dubai venues will be Meydan and Dubai Men’s College.
The Community Cup gets under way on Friday, November 7 and runs the following four weekends of the month. Registration is open until October 30 and can be done online at www.mubadalawtc.com.
What: Mubadala Community Cup
When: Beginning Friday, November 7 and running four consecutive weekends of the month
Where: Various locations around Abu Dhabi and Dubai
Contact: To register, visit www.mubadalawtc.com
Kareem Allaf will be looking to carry the momentum forward from his final showing in Bahrain into the Junior ITF tournament in Kuwait this week, where he has reached the quarter-finals.
The 16-year-old Syrian lost a close three-setter to American Ammar Alhogbani in the title match in Bahrain after squandering a 7-6, 3-0 lead.
His coach, Walid Jallali, who formerly worked with Arab No1 Malek Jaziri, believes Allaf is ready to take home some titles.
Allaf, currently ranked 338 in the world junior rankings, is the top seed in Kuwait this week and will be competing in the Dubai Junior ITF, which starts on October 27.
“He has never won a junior title before but he will very soon,” said Jallali, owner of NSS Tennis Academy.