The UAE’s 2018 World Cup reach the business end, the final tennis grand slam of the year kicks off and Abu Dhabi’s jiu-jitsu grand slam series begins in Los Angeles. Here are five things for UAE sports fans to digest this week.
UAE v Japan, World Cup qualifying
Thursday, September 1, BeIn Sports 1HD, 2.35pm
• Omar Abdulrahman and Co begin the final stage of World Cup 2018 qualifying for Asia, and they start with maybe the toughest assignment they’ll get in the group round: away to Japan.
The Emiratis need to finish in the top two of their six-team group to advance to Russia, while third place would keep them alive for a play-off path in. It will not be easy, as they’ve been grouped with the strong Japanese, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Thailand.
The UAE can take hope, however, from their 2015 Asian Cup quarter-final victory on penalties over Japan, which saw them on to finish third in the tournament.
Other matches on the day include Iraq v Australia and Saudi Arabia v Thailand, and from the other Asia group South Korea v China, Uzbekistan v Syria and Iran v Qatar.
Abu Dhabi Grand Slam Jiu-Jitsu World Tour, Los Angeles – GI
Saturday, September 3, Abu Dhabi Sports HD
• The tournament marks the start of the 2016/17 world series organised by the UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation. The five-stop tour features some of jiu-jitsu’s highest-level practitioners, including Brazilian Paulo Miyao, the 2015 and 2016 64kg world champion who will headline the Southern California event.
His brother Joao Miyao, another star of the sport, will be on hand, joined by a number of past champions from the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship, one of the sport’s most prestigious annual tournaments. They include: Erberth Santos Mesquita, Ricardo Ferreira Evangelista and Bruno Almeida Alves.
UAE JJ Team of Al Ain’s Andre Alberto Campos, who claimed bronze in the +94kg division at the Abu Dhabi Championship this year, will also compete, as will a significant number of Emiratis from the Al Jazira Jiu-Jitsu Club team and UAE Jiu-Jitsu Team.
Other accomplished stars to watch include Brazilians Jose Junior, Jose Tiago Barros, Paulo Jose Pinto, Maximiliano De Carvalho, Denilson De Pimenta and Marcelo Franca Mafra.
2016 US Open, beginning from Monday, BeIn Sports
• The final grand slam of the year begins on Monday in New York City, where Novak Djokovic will be aiming for his third major of 2016, Andy Murray will be trying to win the tournament for a second time and Rafael Nadal is shooting for his first grand slam title since the 2014 French Open.
Djokovic and Nadal are in action on Day 1, while an interesting all-American women’s match between Madison Keys and Alison Riske also features at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
• More: Five men to watch | Five women to watch
England v Pakistan, 3rd ODI
Tuesday, 5pm, OSN Cricket
• England, already 2-0 up in this series, have a chance to clinch the five-match affair with a win in Nottingham.
The hosts have been led by Joe Root’s exceptional batting in the first two matches (61 and 89) along with a well-rounded bowling attack. England have won by four wickets and 44 runs (D/L), but Pakistan will hope Sarfraz Ahmed (55 and 105) can continue his strong series and lead a more formidable Pakistani challenge to keep the series alive.
5 Formula One
Buy Abu Dhabi Grand Prix tickets
• We’re now less than three months away from the UAE’s premier event on the annual sporting calendar. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are locked in an increasingly compelling battle at the top of the drivers’ standings, while off the track Rihanna and The Chemical Brothers headline the always-popular concert acts.
Don’t miss out. Visit the Yas Marina website to purchase ticket packages.