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In photos: Mubadala Tennis Day 1

Day One of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship kicked-off today with an explosion of colour, sound and entertainment in Abu Dhabi.

andrewbinner
by andrewbinner
1st January 2015

article:1st January 2015

Day One of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship kicked-off today with an explosion of colour, sound and entertainment in Abu Dhabi.

On this first day of 2015 tennis fans flocked to the impressive Zayed Sports City in their hundreds to catch a glimpse of their heroes training including Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray.


There was a relaxed mood in the Mubadala Tennis Village, which houses a host of activities to keep fans of all ages stimulated during the day before Murray played Feliciano Lopez in the first of two matches.  Stanislas Wawrinka was drawn against Nicolas Almagro in the evening’s later fixture.

After watching Rafael Nadal practising with his coach at full pace in the midday UAE heat earlier in the day, it was clear that despite the smiles and calm atmostsphere, the players are here to win and want to start their 2015’s with a trophy.

After being asked in a press conference if Nadal would be scaling-down the amount of tournaments he plays in the season due to persisent injuries, the 14-time Slam champion was almost offended.

“I plan on playing every available tournament I possibly can as regular, competitive matches against top-class opposition like today is the only way I can find my best form,” the Spaniard said.

On the subject of playing in the UAE he was equally forthright in his answer , “I am here. It is always good to be here and I always come back as it is a great way to get the season underway with great fans and great opponents.”

A nice touch from Andy Murray saw local tennis prodigy Kareem Allaf chosen to warm-up with the two-time Slam champion.

The teenager looked justifably nervous before the knock-about but soon found his rythem and will hope to one-day, give UAE fans a local champion to cheer at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships.


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In photos: Mubadala Tennis Day 1

Day One of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship kicked-off today with an explosion of colour, sound and entertainment in Abu Dhabi.

Some eager fans enter the Mubadala Village early to enjoy the grounds before the crowds flood in.

Some eager fans enter the Mubadala Village early to enjoy the grounds before the crowds flood in.

There are plenty of games and activities outside of watching tennis to keep even the most energetic fans satisfied...

There are plenty of games and activities outside of watching tennis to keep even the most energetic fans satisfied...

... but some prefer a more traditional game in the immaculate Zayed Sports City grounds.

... but some prefer a more traditional game in the immaculate Zayed Sports City grounds.

UAE tennis fans are both loyal and resourceful in the hot Abu Dhabi sun.

UAE tennis fans are both loyal and resourceful in the hot Abu Dhabi sun.

Say cheese: The Mubadala Tennis Village is full of energy and smiles.

Say cheese: The Mubadala Tennis Village is full of energy and smiles.

You can even take home a Daffy Duck, Pink Panther or SpongeBob SquarePants to remember the day.

You can even take home a Daffy Duck, Pink Panther or SpongeBob SquarePants to remember the day.

Budding tennis players of all ages put their skills to the test in one of the many Mubadalia Tennis Village games.

Budding tennis players of all ages put their skills to the test in one of the many Mubadalia Tennis Village games.

When all the activity is too much, just head for the nearest tennis ball to take a breather.

When all the activity is too much, just head for the nearest tennis ball to take a breather.

Even in his morning practice Rafael Nadal's coach gets every drop of energy out of the two-time Mubadala World Tennis Championship winner.

Even in his morning practice Rafael Nadal's coach gets every drop of energy out of the two-time Mubadala World Tennis Championship winner.

After a season of injuries, Rafael Nadal's bazooka forehand looks back to its ominous best.

After a season of injuries, Rafael Nadal's bazooka forehand looks back to its ominous best.

Action! Rafael Nadal will have to work hard to prevent Novak Djokovic winning a fourth-straight Mubadala title in Abu Dhabi.

Action! Rafael Nadal will have to work hard to prevent Novak Djokovic winning a fourth-straight Mubadala title in Abu Dhabi.

Split loyalties: UAE tennis fans are spoilt for choice on who to support at this year's Mubadala World Tennis Championship.

Split loyalties: UAE tennis fans are spoilt for choice on who to support at this year's Mubadala World Tennis Championship.

Fans take an opportunity to sit in shade as the mercury rises in Abu Dhabi, and the evening matches begin.

Fans take an opportunity to sit in shade as the mercury rises in Abu Dhabi, and the evening matches begin.

Hard life: This couple find time to relax before Andy Murray takes on Feliciano Lopez in Day 1's first match.

Hard life: This couple find time to relax before Andy Murray takes on Feliciano Lopez in Day 1's first match.

Mubadala Tennis fans get to meet the likes of Djokovic, Nadal and Murray, but have to wait their turn to get a cherished autograph or 'selfie'.

Mubadala Tennis fans get to meet the likes of Djokovic, Nadal and Murray, but have to wait their turn to get a cherished autograph or...

What to do when your family or friends are queuing for autographs: Try and win a Pink Panther of course!

What to do when your family or friends are queuing for autographs: Try and win a Pink Panther of course!

On the spot: Feliciano Lopez is challenged by a member of the crowd to an impromptu tennis trivia quiz... and loses!

On the spot: Feliciano Lopez is challenged by a member of the crowd to an impromptu tennis trivia quiz... and loses!

Hold the bubbly! Rafael Nadal reveals to the press that yesterday he enjoyed a quiet meal with friends and family to bring in 2015.

Hold the bubbly! Rafael Nadal reveals to the press that yesterday he enjoyed a quiet meal with friends and family to bring in 2015.

Clearly some fans are not playing the Mubadala World Championship games for the first time.

Clearly some fans are not playing the Mubadala World Championship games for the first time.

Say cheese: Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi provides a family-friendly setting that is enjoyed by young and old alike.

Say cheese: Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi provides a family-friendly setting that is enjoyed by young and old alike.

Local tennis prodigy Kareem Allaf is given the honour of warming-up with Andy Murray on the main court.

Local tennis prodigy Kareem Allaf is given the honour of warming-up with Andy Murray on the main court.

Despite the nerves of playing with a two-time Slam winner, Allaf more than holds his own and gets Murray sweating!

Despite the nerves of playing with a two-time Slam winner, Allaf more than holds his own and gets Murray sweating!

The Mubadala mascots deserve special praise for putting so many smiles on people's faces, especially with those suits in today's heat!

The Mubadala mascots deserve special praise for putting so many smiles on people's faces, especially with those suits in today's heat!

Fans can't resist a last-minute snap with their heroes as they go into the stadium to watch the Mubadala World Tennis Championship stars in the flesh.

Fans can't resist a last-minute snap with their heroes as they go into the stadium to watch the Mubadala World Tennis Championship stars in the...

Where's Nole? Djoko-mania hits Abu Dhabi as reigning Mubadala champion Novak Djokovic hits the village.

Where's Nole? Djoko-mania hits Abu Dhabi as reigning Mubadala champion Novak Djokovic hits the village.