The 20-time Grand Slam champion to defend his title at the International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City…

He’s won it five times already, but tennis superstar Rafael Nadal can’t get enough of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi – it’s been confirmed he’ll return to compete at this year’s edition to defend his crown at the International Tennis Centre at Zayed Sports City, which takes place from December 16 to 18.

The joint record holder of most male Grand Slam titles has chosen Abu Dhabi to begin his 2022 campaign whilst making his 11th appearance at the Championship.

Nadal’s confirmation means the eight-player line-up for the MWTC, which returns this year with full stadium capacity, now includes two of the world’s top ten and four of the world’s top 20 male players.

The players

The World No. 5 Spanish ace joins Casper Ruud (No. 8), Dominic Thiem (No. 12) and Denis Shapovalov (No. 19) for a series of elimination matches.

They will be joined by US Open women’s champion Emma Raducanu who will be taking on Tokyo Olympics gold medal winner Belinda Bencic, in a repeat of the US Open quarter-finals, which Raducanu won in straight sets on her way to the title.

Nadal has a great rapport with the Mubadala World Tennis Championship fanbase, having been victorious in Abu Dhabi on five occasions, including the most recent edition in 2019.

“Abu Dhabi is a special place for me, a place where I have been many times and where I started my seasons many times.” said the Nadal, who has returned to full training following foot injury that has kept him away from the courts for months.

(Rafael Nadal lifting the Mubadala World Tennis Championship title in 2016)

“Ever since I first came to Abu Dhabi, I’ve had a great response from the fans and I am sure the atmosphere is going to be special as always.”

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John Lickrish, CEO of Flash Entertainment, the tournament owners, said: “Rafael Nadal and the Mubadala World Tennis Championship go hand in hand, so we’re extremely pleased that the player with the most appearances at our Championship has declared himself fit to continue his remarkable run in Abu Dhabi.

“The fact he has only missed two of the past 12 editions is testament to the endearing appeal of the event, and Abu Dhabi as a host of major sporting events. We strive to deliver the best and securing the champion is confirmation of that. We now have a stellar line-up, with two more world-class announcements to come, so I urge fans to buy their tickets now to make sure they don’t miss out.”

Health and safety protocols

In line with current protocols, measures will be in place within the stadium and throughout the Tennis Village to ensure the health and safety of fans, players and officials. Additionally, in line with the latest government guidelines the Championship will welcome fans and spectators with green status on the Al Hosn app and a negative PCR test result with 96-hour validity across three days of exciting tennis action, in a safe and secure environment.


Tickets, starting from Dhs100 for adults and Dhs50 for children, are available from and Virgin Megastores across the UAE.

The MWTC takes place at International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City, in Abu Dhabi from December 16 to 18, from Dhs100. Tickets:

Images: Supplied