A year ago, Serena Williams and Jelena Ostapenko were the first female players who had a chance to play at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi and we will see another WTA match at this rich exho between December 27-29.
Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Kevin Anderson, Dominic Thiem, Karen Khachanov and Hyeon Chung will fight for the title in the men's draw while Venus Williams is the first confirmed player for that female match, waiting for the name of her rival to be announced. The seven-time singles Grand Slam champion is exciting about this event and the chance to play in the Middle East again, having previously won three Dubai Open titles.
Venus will use the warm conditions in Abu Dhabi to prepare herself for the Australian January swing and the Australian Open where she made a debut back in 1998 at the age of 17. Venus has won 17 matches in 2018 to keep herself inside the Top 40 and after the retirement of Patty Schnyder Venus is the second-oldest player on the WTA ranking list behind the Hungarian Greta Arn.
"I was on the short list to play last year and didn't quite make the cut, so I am excited to have been invited," Venus said. "I jumped at the opportunity to come and play tennis there. They have had the women there last year for the first time and it is exciting to be able to bring women's tennis to Abu Dhabi.
I have never been to the Middle East at that time of year before. I do my training in Florida, which is pretty warm, but it will be good to get some more time on court and training in warm conditions and that should help me in Australia.
I have had a lot of success in the Middle East and it is nice to come back to somewhere that you have done well at. It creates good vibes and gives you something to feed off so that is something I am looking forward to."