When is the Mubadala World Tennis Championship? Who joins Rafael Nadal, Emma Raducanu in the field?

Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi

The Mubadala World Tennis Championship makes a welcome return this week and it will once again feature some of the world’s best players including Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Emma Raducanu.

The exhibition tournament was cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it will be back at the Abu Dhabi International Tennis Complex.

What is the Mubadala World Tennis Championship?

The Championship is an end-of-season/beginning-of-season exhibition event with some of the world’s best players taking part.

It features eight players with six ATP Tour players competing in the men’s category and two WTA Tour players competing in a one-off match for the women’s title.

Where and when does the Championship take place?

The Abu Dhabi International Tennis Complex will host eight matches (seven on the men’s side and one on the women’s side) over the next few days. Centre Court has a seating capacity of 5,000 and Court 2 can house 600 people.

The event will run over three days from December 16-18.

Who will feature in Abu Dhabi?

The men’s tournament will feature three Grand Slam winners with 20-time major winner and defending champion Rafael Nadal the headline act.

The 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem, who along with Nadal will return to action following a long absence through injury, and former world No 1 Andy Murray, a two-time champion in Abu Dhabi, also feature.

World No 5 Andrey Rublev, world No 8 Casper Ruud and world No 14 Denis Shapovalov complete the line-up.

As for the one-off women’s match, US Open champion Emma Raducanu will take on Olympic gold medallist Belinda Bencic with both players competing in the tournament for the first time.

What about the tournament structure?

The event consists of two quarter-finals with the winner of those matches taking on the top two seeds in the semi-finals.

Ruud and Shapovalov will battle it out in the first match and whoever comes out on top will play top seed Rublev for a place in the final.

In the battle of the former Grand Slam champions, Thiem and Murray will square off with second seed Nadal awaiting the winner.

The women’s feature match between Raducanu and Bencic will take place at December 16 at 20:00 local time (16:00 UK time).

The winners walk away with a $250,000 (about £189,000) cheque each.

Rafael Nadal in action in Abu Dhabi

About the previous editions…

Nadal has won the tournament five times – 2010, 2011, 2016 x2 (two events were held) and 2019 – while reigning world No 1 Novak Djokovic is a four-time winner. Murray won the inaugural tournament in 2009 and he was again victorious in 2015.

The women’s tournament has been held on three times with Jelena Ostapenko beating Serena Williams in the 2017 final while Venus Williams defeated her sister Serena in the 2018 event. Maria Sharapova won the 2019 event.

Which channels will broadcast the event?

Eurosport 2 is currently the only broadcaster that will screen the tournament in the UK/European region with coverage starting 2pm on December 16, 1pm on December 17 and 3pm on December 18.