World number 12 Kevin Anderson is hoping he can kick off 2016 in style at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship later this month off the back of a season that saw him smash an 18-year record and become the first South African since 1997 to break into the world’s top 10.
Anderson’s new season starts in Abu Dhabi on December 31st at the International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi where he will face some of the biggest names on the ATP Tour.
Anderson started 2015 ranked number 16 in the world and ended in his best results in terms of winning percentages since 2010, finishing the year on 46-24.
He also reached his first ever Grand Slam quarter-final in September when he knocked world number 2, Andy Murray, out of the US Open.
Anderson will open his Abu Dhabi campaign on Day 1 of the tournament when he takes on fellow debutant, Milos Raonic.
And Anderson is looking forward to making his Abu Dhabi bow, stating that Mubadala is a tournament he’s had his eye on for some time.
“I can’t wait to be competing at this year’s Mubadala World Tennis Championship and have always wanted to be a part of it,” said Anderson.
2015 was a great year. Will keep working hard to achieve my tennis dreams. Thank you to all the friends & fans who supported me this year!
— Kevin Anderson (@kevinanderson18) November 6, 2015
“I know all the players really give it their all in Abu Dhabi and I hear the crowds are pretty amazing, so I’m looking forward to experiencing it for the first time.
“When I turned pro, my aim was to make it into the top 100 in the world and this year I broke into the top 10 which was a massive moment for me.
“I hope to build on this in 2016 and the chance to play in Abu Dhabi against the top players in the world ahead of the new season will get me in the best possible shape to do so.”
Roger Federer is expected to play mixed doubles with fellow Swiss national Martina Hingis at the 2016 Olympic games in Rio, Le Matin Dimanche newspaper reported, revealing what it called a “Dream Team”.
There had been widespread speculation that the two Swiss stars would team up. Hingis had reportedly made the offer to play with Federer and was waiting for a response from the winner of 17 Grand Slam titles.
“Federer will play with Hingis. It’s decided,” the newspaper said in a report that listed the composition of the Swiss “probable teams” for Rio.
Federer had reportedly promised to declare his openness to the prospective Hingis pairing by the end of the year. Federer is also set to play men’s doubles with Stan Wawrinka, the current world number four, with 11 ATP titles to his name, the publication added.
Swiss Davis Cup captain Severin Luethi, who will also lead the tennis squad in Rio, was quoted by the paper saying the goal for the 2016 summer games was “to win all the gold medals”.
“Why not?… We can always dream,” he said. Hingis will play women’s doubles with Belinda Bencic, a rising star who cracked the women’s tour in 2011 and has already claimed more than $2 million (Dh7.3m) in career earnings.
Bencic will also play mixed doubles with Wawrinka, according to the report.
Local fans came out in huge numbers on day two of the Coca-Cola IPTL in Japan’s host city of Kobe, but home heroes Japan Warriors failed to make the most of their support after the UAE Royals swept to a comfortable 30-15 win.
In the mixed doubles, Maria Sharapova and Pierre-Hugues Herbert failed to score a point against the experienced Royals pairing of Kristina Mladenovic and Daniel Nestor, who took the set 6-0.
The women’s singles saw Sharapova come back for the Warriors, facing off against Ana Ivanovic, but the Russian was once again on the losing side, felled 6-4.
Next up, the legends singles took audiences back a decade or two, with Japan’s Marat Safin taking on Goran Ivanisevic.
The UAE Royals man went on to put his side 3-0 up in yet more comfortable fashion in a 6-4 win.
Tomas Berdych then joined the party on a superb day for the UAE outfit, first joining Nestor to complete a men’s doubles win over Herbert and Leander Paes (6-4), before despatching Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3 in the closing singles match.