ABU DHABI, 18th December,2022 (WAM) - The 14th Mubadala World Tennis Championship (MWTC) served up another memorable three-day festival, which saw history being made, a new champion crowned, and thousands of spectators engaging in top-quality tennis and entertainment on and off court.
An exciting week at the Arabian Gulf's leading tennis experience was capped in fine style with Stefanos Tsitsipas coming out on top in a thrilling final, which underlined the championship's status as one of the most anticipated events on the region's sporting and social calendar.
Following the UAE Special Olympics tennis demonstration earlier in the weekend, Mohammed Al Yammahi, aged 11, a champion equestrian athlete at the Abu Dhabi Club for People of Determination, performed the coin toss for the final. After which, Rublev and Tsitsipas took their friendly rivalry to the next level with a exceptional match for an excited crowd.
Tsitsipas, who has looked impressive all week in victories over Cam Norrie and World No.3 Casper Ruud, came bursting out of the blocks breaking the Rublev serve in the first game and continued to dominate, breaking again in game five before sealing the opening set 6-2.
The second set went with serve, with Tsitsipas having to dig deep with some big shots to square matters at 3-3. The set continued with serve until Rublev produced some stunning counter play to break his Greek opponent in game 10, taking the set 6-4 and sending the match into a deciding set.
In a repeat of the opening set, Tsitsipas broke the Rublev serve, held his own and broke again for a 3-0 lead that he would hold on to; finally wrapping up the set 6-2 to secure a first MWTC title at the second time of asking, having made the final on his first appearance in 2019.
"I would just like to thank everyone for coming out to support us, especially knowing there was a World Cup final happening a bit latter, we really appreciate the support. It was great to get three matches in here this week and search for some big preparation for the coming season. Andrey is a great competitor, and we had a great match," said Tsitsipas as he collected the new championship trophy.
"What we as players are trying to do is unite people, bring them together through tennis. I'm really happy to be playing in the Middle East; I've said before we should be playing more tennis events here. It's the perfect location and can host big events."
Outgoing champion Rublev added: "What we are looking for here is to play these matches at a great level ahead of the new season against some good players and that's what we had. It was a great tournament and I'm always happy to be here. It's been a pleasure to be back in Abu Dhabi playing in front of you guys."
It was a fitting finale to a week in which World No. 2 Ons Jabeur made history in becoming the first woman to win back-to-back MWTC titles following her victory over British No. 1 and 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu.
Tsitsipas was presented with the iconic Mubadala World Tennis Championship trophy by Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, in the presence of Sheikh Suhail Bin Butti Al Maktoum, Executive Director of the Sports Development Sector at the General Sports Authority, Humaid Al Shimmari, Deputy Group CEO Mubadala Investment Company, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Bin Mohammed bin Khalid Al Nahyan.
"On behalf of Mubadala, I'm delighted to have witnessed another successful Mubadala World Tennis Championship. The 14th edition of the event saw global tennis stars come to Abu Dhabi for the highly anticipated event, inspiring the community to pursue a healthy lifestyle in line with our mandate to make a positive impact. Thank you to our partners and stakeholders for helping bring this event, one of the world's most important platforms for the sports sector, to life in Abu Dhabi," said Humaid Al Shimmari, Deputy Group CEO and Chief Corporate & Human Capital Officer, Mubadala
"It's been another incredible year of collaboration and commitment from our partners, players and fans, which underlines why the Mubadala World Tennis Championship is one of the of the region's most anticipated events on both the UAE and regional sporting calendars. With one of the strongest fields in the event's 14-year history we've been treated to three days of amazing tennis action, in addition to exciting entertainment off court, further cementing Abu Dhabi's ability to host major events. We've witnessed history with Ons Jabeur becoming the first woman to win back-to-back MWTC titles. Congratulations to Ons and our 2022 Men's Champion Stefanos Tsitsipas who delivered some scintillating moments for fans this week. We can't wait to be back next year for our 15th edition, which we promise will be another unmissable experience, said John Lickrish, CEO, Flash Entertainment.
Earlier in the day, Casper Ruud sealed third place at his maiden MWTC with a commanding 6-1,6-4 victory over World No.1 Carlos Alcaraz, who was making his regional debut.
"The first match didn't go my way, but I performed well in today's game. I'm having a longer season in comparison to others as I'll be taking some time off after Australia so events such as these have really helped me work on my game and get me ready to perform on the big stage," said Ruud.