Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic chase new Mubadala WTC trophy

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Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic chase new Mubadala WTC trophy

The 12th edition of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship starts on Thursday at the International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi, gathering a strong field of players that will fight for the title in a three-day event.

World's leading stars, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic headline a six-men field, both winning four titles here in the past and chasing the fifth on Saturday. Rafa and Novak will skip the quarter-final day, with Nadal waiting for Hyeon Chung or Karen Khachanov while Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev battle for the semis and the clash against the defending champion Djokovic.

The new edition also offers a brand-new trophy for the winner, designed by the Emirati designer and artist Abdulla Ashwaq. The cup has been inspired bu the "Volcano Fountain," one of the most recognized landmarks in Abu Dhabi, and it is the second tennis trophy that Ashwaq designed after the WTA Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic.

The crowd at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship will also have the opportunity to enjoy in the WTA match between Maria Sharapova and Ajla Tomljanovic on Thursday, making it a complete experience for the fans and keeping this event on the top-tier level among the pre-season tournaments.

"This is an exceptional occasion and I wanted the trophy design to reflect the essence of Abu Dhabi and some of the much-loved heritage architecture of our proud country," said Ashwaq Abdulla. "The Volcano Fountain and the iconography of our historic forts are synonymous with Abu Dhabi and its vibrant culture.

Abu Dhabi's unique heritage shines through in architecture at so many of our cultural attractions. This design blends traditional elements with modern materials - the trophy is symbolic of Abu Dhabi. I hope it rekindles fond memories of Abu Dhabi every time the winner looks at it."