By Ros Satar

  • Serena Williams will make her tennis comeback at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships
  • Will play Jelena Ostapenko on 30 December
  • First time women have competed at the invitational, celebrating its 10th edition
ABU DHABI, UAE – Serena Williams will make her tennis comeback at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships as women take part in the invitational pre-season opener for the first time.


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After the annual men’s invitational event has been rocked with three high profile withdrawals, the Mubadala World Tennis Championships welcomes Serena Williams back to the court in a first for the tournament.

The Mubadala World Tennis Championships reclaimed ground after being hit with the withdrawals of Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka and Milos Raonic as it announced on Sunday that Williams’ comeback will start at the invitational event.

Traditionally a drawing ground for the world’s best ATP players, the 10th edition of the tournament brings two 2017 Grand Slam champions to the court as 23-time Slam champion Williams will face Jelena Ostapenko in a special match on 30 December.

In a statement on the MWTC website, Williams said: “I am delighted to be returning to the court in Abu Dhabi for the first time since the birth of my daughter in September. The Mubadala World Tennis Championship has long marked the beginning of the men’s global tennis season and I am excited and honoured to be making my comeback as part of the first women to participate in the event. I look forward to seeing the fans in Abu Dhabi at the 10th Edition of the Championship very soon.”

It is almost a year since Williams won the Australian Open title, later revealing she was pregnant with her first child, Alexis Olympia who was born in September.

Ostapenko claimed her maiden Slam title at Roland Garros, and has been playing in the Hua Hin exhibition.

She said: “I am thrilled to be playing in Abu Dhabi at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship. This will be the first time that women have taken part in the event and it is a huge honour to be part of that history after watching the tournament for many years. Last season was really incredible for me and I cannot wait to continue the start of my new season at such an amazing event.”

Also see: Mubadala rocked by Nadal’s withdrawal as injuries blight season openers

The full field and schedule is:

  • 28 December Pablo Carreno Busta v Kevin Anderson 5pm (1pm GMT)
  • 28 December Roberto Bautista Agut v Andrey Rublev 7pm (3pm GMT)
  • 29 December Dominic Thiem v Busta/Anderson 5pm (1pm GMT)
  • 29 December Novak Djokovic v Agut/Rublev
  • 30 December Third Place PLay-off 2:30pm (10:30am GMT)
  • 30 December Serena Williams v Jelena Ostapenko 5pm (1pm GMT)
  • 30 December Championship Match 7pm (3pm GMT)

Brian Lott, Chief Communications Officer of Mubadala, the title sponsor of the tournament, added, “For the tennis fans in the UAE, having Serena here as part of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship weekend is a thrilling opportunity to see even more world-class tennis. She’s not only an incredible champion, she’s a role model for millions of athletes all over the world and she joins Jelena in offering the UAE a match worthy of grand slam heritage right in the centre of Abu Dhabi.”

The Mubadala World Tennis Championships will take place between 28-30 December.




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