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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 22 November 2018

Novak Djokovic: Winning Mubadala World Tennis Championship will cap a great 2018

The new world No 1 wants to finish off the year in December with a fourth title in Abu Dhabi

Novak Djokovic is aiming to win the Mubadala World Tennis Championship for a fourth time in December. AFP
Novak Djokovic is aiming to win the Mubadala World Tennis Championship for a fourth time in December. AFP

New world No 1 Novak Djokovic said he is aiming cap off a memorable year by returning to Abu Dhabi next month to secure a fourth Mubadala World Tennis Championship title.

After being sidelined for the second half of 2017 with an elbow injury that required surgery and extensive rehabilitation, the Serb capped a superb second half of this season on Monday by returning to world No 1 for the first time in two years.

Djokovic, 31, reclaimed top spot in the ATP Tour rankings after reaching the final of the Paris Masters, and that follows a run in the past five months that has seen him win Wimbledon and the US Open, as well titles in Cincinnati and Shanghai.

His ranking had dropped to No 22 in June, meaning Djokovic is the first player to reach No 1 in the same year as being placed outside the top 20.

“What a year it’s been – after a lot of intense matches and injuries, it feels great to be crowned No 1,” Djokovic said of his accomplishment.

The 14-time major winner still has the ATP Finals in London next week, which if he wins will see him equal Roger Federer’s record of six titles.

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After a short break, Djokovic will attempt to match Rafael Nadal’s record of four MWTC titles when he leads a field that includes defending champion Kevin Anderson, Dominic Thiem, Hyeon Chung, and Karen Khachanov in the 11th staging of the competition at International Tennis Centre at Zayed Sports Cityy from December 27-29.

Djokovic said that level of competition in Abu Dhabi will be the perfect way to end the year as well as build momentum for 2019.

“I love coming to Abu Dhabi and I can’t wait to see my fans once again this year at MWTC,” said Djokovic, who previously won the exhibition in successive years from 2011 to 2013.

“The championship offers the perfect opportunity to fine-tune my preparations ahead of the Australian Open and I am really looking forward to competing there again. I very much hope I get to walk away with my fourth win.”

As well as the men’s competition, there will be a women’s exhibition match following the success of last year’s inaugural match between Serena Williams and Jelena Ostapenko.

This year’s match has seven-time major winner Venus Williams confirmed to compete against an opponent yet to be announced.

Tickets are priced from Dh100 with free admission for children on the first day of the tournament on December 27.

They can be purchased from www.ticketmaster.ae or by calling 800 86 823 and all Virgin Megastores across the UAE.