An ATP tournament could be held in the UAE capital in the next few years as the Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) have shown interest in purchasing a suitable week on the calendar.
The ADSC came close to securing a tournament but plans ultimately fell through. They are still on the lookout though for an appropriate opportunity, whether on the ATP World tour or the second-tiered Challenger Tour.
Introducing an ATP event to Abu Dhabi will surely have an impact on the future of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship.
With the eighth edition of the MWTC just six weeks away, the impact of the annual exhibition event on the sporting community in Abu Dhabi cannot be overstated.
The tournament owners FLASH, and title sponsors Mubadala, continue to invest in grassroots tennis initiatives – be it their Tennis in Schools programme or the Community Cup – while succeeding in selling out the International Tennis Complex stadium at Zayed Sports City each year, thanks to a stellar lineup that typically consists of six top-10 or top-15 players.
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But what would happen if an ATP event is introduced to Abu Dhabi? Would the MWTC, held around New Year to kick off each tennis season still survive?
Asked about that possibility, Greg Sproule, the managaing director of IMG Middle East, who organise and run the MWTC for FLASH, said: “It depends on what that event is, when it takes place – the ATP calendar is quite full right now.
"There’s not a lot of opportunity out there in terms of leasing or buying, be it 250s and even less so 500s. There are requirements that come along with that.
“The great thing about the MWTC is that it works really well for Abu Dhabi.
"From our perspective, it’s not for me to speak on behalf of Mubadala or FLASH, but from an event point of view, we continue to craft it around what it makes sense for Abu Dhabi.”