Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 26 August 2019

Lowdown: Mubadala World Tennis Championship Day 1 preview – Williams sisters showdown as Serena takes on Venus

Men's quarter-finals also take place in Abu Dhabi, with Kevin Anderson and Karen Khachanov predicted to prevail

It is the first day of the 11th staging of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship – and it is the women that take centre stage.

The exhibition match between the Williams sisters, Serena and Venus, is the closing match on Thursday night at the International Tennis Centre at Zayed Sports City, with the game due to start at 8pm.

This comes after the two men's quarter-finals kick things off from 4pm in Abu Dhabi.

Here is a rundown of the action.

Men's quarter-finals

Kevin Anderson v Hyeon Chung, from 4pm

Defending champion Kevin Anderson is back in the capital 12 months after becoming the fourth man to win the MWTC.

Since then, he has reached a second grand slam final, at Wimbledon, established himself in the top 10 and reached the ATP Tour finals for the first time.

Chung has admitted he is trying to get back to his best form after injuries hit the second half of 2018.

Anderson should win this comfortably to set up a rematch of the 2017 US Open final with Rafael Nadal on Friday in the semi-finals.

Prediction Anderson in straight sets

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Read more:

Kevin Anderson: I want to face Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at Mubadala World Tennis Championship

MWTC: Complete player guide as Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams head to Abu Dhabi

Dominic Thiem aiming to continue his great form in 2018 at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship

The Serena Williams interview: Taking on older sister Venus is 'the ultimate rivalry'

Rafael Nadal ready to get 'best preparation' for 2019 season at Mubadala World Tennis Championship

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Dominic Thiem v Karen Khachanov, from 6pm

This could be a cracking match. Thiem and Khachanov both had breakthrough years and will want to build early momentum for 2019.

Thiem reached his first grand slam final at the French Open, while Khachanov won his first 1000 Masters title in Paris in November.

Khachanov beat Thiem on his way to his win in the French capital and it is hard not to see a repeat happening here.

The Russian is an exciting prospect and his big serve and power from the baseline should suit the court at Zayed Sports City.

His reward will be a semi-final against world No 1 Novak Djokovic, the man he beat in the Paris final.

Prediction Khachanov through in three sets

Women's exhibition match

Serena Williams v Venus Williams, from 8pm

One of the most famous rivalries in women's tennis comes to Abu Dhabi for the first time.

The sisters have played each other 30 times on the WTA Tour, including nine grand slam finals.

They most recently faced off at the US Open in September in the third round, with Serena dropping only three games in a lopsided win.

Venus, 38, has beaten Serena, 37, in 2018, at Indian Wells, but that was the younger sister's first WTA event after returning to the tour after becoming a mother.

Serena's form at Wimbledon and the US Open was impressive, and she should have the edge here to set herself up for her tilt at a record-equalling 24th major at the Australian Open in January.

Prediction Serena takes it in straight sets

Updated: December 27, 2018 02:37 PM

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