The Mubadala World Tennis Championships in Abu Dhabi will be the first tournament - although not official - to kick off the new season, from 28th to 30th December 2017. It will feature Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Dominic Thiem, Milos Raonic and Pablo Carreno Busta. Greg Sproule, the managing director of IMG Middle East and North Africa, one of the organisers of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, is satisfied with the field they have built up. 'With the accomplishments of Rafa over the past year, and for him to come back, and this is where his season began last year, it is like a bookend, it is perfect,' Sproule said.
Organizers dream about a Nadal-Djokovic final, which would be the second such final in the ten-year event history featuring top two seeds after Nadal-Federer in 2011. 'We did have Rafa and Roger once and that was the dream final. Rafa played exceptionally well, won two tiebreakers to win that match,' Sproule added. 'But you are right. We have had Milos Raonic playing in the final [in 2016 when he lost to Nadal]. Goffin played last year. There is a sense of unpredictability going in which is great.'
Story by The National