Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev replace Daniil Medvedev and Gael Monfils at Mubadala World Tennis Championship

Sport360 staff 17:50 17/12/2019
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Karen Khachanov and Andrey Rublev have added their names to the Mubadala World Tennis Championship which gets underway on Thursday in Abu Dhabi.

The Russian duo have replaced fellow compatriot Daniil Medvedev and Frenchman Gael Monfils, who have been forced to withdraw through injury.

For Khachanov, the Mubadala World Tennis Championship is a chance to build on a strong 2019 which saw him reach the quarter-finals of the French Open and reach a career high of number eight in the world.

“I can’t wait to return to the Mubadala World Tennis Championship after a great experience last year. The weather is fantastic and the fans really know their tennis,” said Khachanov, who has won four ATP titles and will face Hyeon Chung in the second match on Thursday.

“The set-up is superb, the crowd can really get involved, and it also offers the perfect opportunity to get the new season off and running with some hard matches.”

On the other side of the draw, Rublev is looking forward to making his return to the UAE capital where he will face 2019 ATP Tour Finals winner Stefanos Tsitsipas in the championship opener at 4pm.

“I was fortunate enough to experience this championship a couple of years ago. With a very strong line-up, it’s an opportunity to start the season with very competitive matches,” said Rublev, who faced Tsitsipas in the semi-finals of the 2018 ATP Next Gen Finals.

“The people of Abu Dhabi are great and I’m looking forward to catching up with old friends and making new ones.”

Medvedev was excited about his maiden showing in Abu Dhabi and expressed his disappointment at missing out.

“I was really looking forward to making my debut in Abu Dhabi. So, it is with deep regret that I have had to withdraw through injury. I hope to make the trip in the future, and I wish everyone a hugely successful championship,” said Medvedev.

Monfils, who was excited to make his second appearance in Abu Dhabi after a nine-year absence, said: “I always enjoy coming and was excited to be playing there once again. Due to injury, that’s not going to be possible, but I hope to see you all soon.”

The winners of the two men’s matches on Day 1 will face the world’s top two players, World No1 Rafael Nadal and World No2 Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals on Friday.

The opening day will conclude with five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova taking on Australian Fed Cup finalist Ajla Tomljanovic (not before 8pm).

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