The Mubadala World Tennis Championship brings the curtain down on a thrilling year of tennis as six stars from the men’s game compete in the Middle East for the final trophy of 2012, live and exclusive on ESPN.
Set in the heart of Abu Dhabi, the 5,000 seater stadium at the Abu Dhabi International Tennis Complex is the exotic setting for this invitational exhibition event that features six of the top 12 players in the ATP Tour rankings.
The line-up includes US Open champion Andy Murray, who will be looking to regain the title he won in 2009. He will be joined by world number one and defending champion Novak Djokovic.
The remainder of the field, all within the top 12 in the world, includes the fiery David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych, rounded out with Serbian Janko Tipsarevic and Spain’s Nicolas Almagro.
Almagro has been called up as a replacement for compatriot Rafael Nadal, who was due to make his long-awaited comeback from a knee injury in Abu Dhabi.
The 11-time Grand Slam champion wrote on his Facebook page that he had been advised to rest while he recovers from a fever caused by a stomach infection.
Nada has been out of action with tendonitis in his left knee since his second round defeat at Wimbledon, and is now expected to return at the Qatar Open, beginning on December 31.
Whilst being the final tournament of the calendar year in the men’s tennis world, the Mubadala Championships marks the beginning of the new tennis season, building up to the Australian Open which starts on January 14.
In December 2011, Novak Djokovic brought the curtain down on his stunning season with a 6-2, 6-1 victory against Spain’s David Ferrer in the final.
Djokovic crushed Roger Federer in the semi-finals and then eased past Ferrer to claim the $250,000 prize money.
As the finale to the men’s tennis season, this event brings together the world’s best players and gives them an excellent opportunity to complete their final preparations for the Australian Open.
Both Djokovic and Alamagro are given a bye from Thursday’s quarter-final matches.
They will enter at the semi-final stages will take place on Friday, December 28th, with Djokovic facing the winner of Ferrer/Berdych in the semi-finals, while Almagro will play either Murray or Tipsarevic in his semi-final.
ESPN has picked up the rights to screen this year’s Mubadala World Tennis Championships, having previously been broadcast on Sky Sports.
The quarter-finals and semi-final matches from Abu Dhabi will both be live on ESPN, with live coverage of the final on sister station ESPN Classic on Saturday, December 29th.
The tournament forms part of a busy schedule of live tennis on ESPN ahead of the Australian Open, with the channel also set screen live coverage of the ATP Brisbane International and the WTA Shenzhen Open from January 4.
Thursday 27th December Quarter-Finals Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) bt Andy Murray (GBR) – 6-3, 6-4 David Ferrer (ESP) bt Tomas Berdych (CZE) – 6-2, 6-4 LIVE: 1.00pm-5.00pm – ESPN Friday 28th December Semi-Finals Novak Djokovic (SRB) bt David Ferrer (ESP) – 6-0, 6-3 Nicolas Almagro (ESP) bt Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) – 2-6, 7-6, 6-2 LIVE: 11.00am-3.00pm – ESPN Saturday 29th December Final Novak Djokovic (SRB) v Nicolas Almagro (ESP) LIVE: 1.00pm-3.00pm – ESPN Classic DELAYED: 9.30pm-11.30pm – ESPN