x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Abu Dhabi year-ender tournament serves up perfection

Any duel between these two greats is always an occasion, but given the relatively pressure free environs of the championship, they could raise the entertainment quotient of their sublime games.

A few days before the start of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, Greg Sproule, the manager director of the tournament organisers IMG Middle East, claimed the competition was tailor-made for the needs of the capital.

"The timing of the event and the things that we built around it make it perfect just the way it is," he said. And proof of that claim was evident over three days last week when six of the world's best players battled it out for the first pay-cheque of the year.

From a fans' perspective, the event is like the final stages of a grand slam or any other major tournament. It is like editing out the first 12 days and heading straight to the business end, with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in the "semi-finals" against Tomas Berdych and Robin Soderling.

To add to the dream script, Federer and Nadal made it to the final and played a match was the envy of any top tournament.

Any duel between these two greats is always an occasion, but given the relatively pressure free environs of the championship, they could raise the entertainment quotient of their sublime games.

From the players' perspective, the tournament provides an opportunity to make an early start to the year, get away from the freezing winter and put their off-season work to the test against players they are likely to face in the crucial stages of future tournaments.

So, to concur with Sproule, the tournament is perfect as it is - both for the viewing pleasure of the fans and needs of the players.