Djokovic, Serena, Nadal warm up for 2019 season with exhibition event in Abu Dhabi

Eight of the biggest stars in world tennis will storm Abu Dhabi for the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, an exhibition event which will kick off on Thursday, 27 through to 29 at the Zayed Sports City’s International Tennis Centre in

The event will host its traditional six-player men’s event and feature a one-off women’s match, for the second year running.

Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Kevin Anderson, who’s the defending champion, Dominic Thiem, Karen Khachanov and Hyeon Chung make up the elite six-man field. The women’s event, however, will be a mouthwatering showdown between the Williams sisters, as Serena takes on Venus on Thursday.

The men’s draw will get underway with the quarterfinals on Thursday, with South Africa’s Anderson locking horns with South Korea’s sensation, Hyeon Chung, while Austria’s Thiem takes on the dangerous Russian Karen Khachanov.

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal received byes into the semifinals. As a result, Djokovic will take on the winner of the Thiem-Khachanov contest, while Nadal will seek a final spot by battling the winner of the other quarterfinals contest.

For the players, aside contesting for honours and perhaps pride, this will be a perfect avenue to warm up for the coming season and the opening Slam of the year, the Australian Open.

“I love coming to Abu Dhabi and I can’t wait to see my fans again,” world number one, Djokovic said. “The championship offers the perfect opportunity to fine-tune my preparations ahead of the Australian Open and I’m really looking forward to competing there again. I very much hope I get to walk away with my fourth win.”

Should Djokovic and Nadal make it to the final in Abu Dhabi, it will be a 53rd career meeting between them, and that should make up for some gripping contest, one to kick-start the 2019 season.

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