x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Stan Wawrinka added to Mubadala World Tennis Championship line-up

Organisers announced the Australian Open champion would be in Abu Dhabi for the tournament, from January 1-3, joining a field that includes Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal so far.

Stan Wawrinka prepares to serve against Thomaz Bellucci during his second round match at the US Open on Wednesday. Streeter Lecka / Getty Images / AFP / August 27, 2014
Stan Wawrinka prepares to serve against Thomaz Bellucci during his second round match at the US Open on Wednesday. Streeter Lecka / Getty Images / AFP / August 27, 2014

Before reigning Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka defends his title at the year’s first grand slam, he’ll look to find his form in Abu Dhabi.

Organisers of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship announced Wawrinka’s addition to a line-up that already includes Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal for the annual winter tournament, which will next run January 1-3.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be returning to Abu Dhabi to start the year,” said Wawrinka, 29, in a press release. “2014 was a pivotal year in my career, and with Abu Dhabi the first real test of the season it will always hold a special place for me.”

The Swiss, who advanced to the fourth round of the US Open on Saturday with a walkover against Blaz Kavcic, won his first major title earlier this year by beating Nadal in the Australian Open final.

Ironically, he finished last in the six-man field in Abu Dhabi ahead of his improbable march to a grand slam title.

“Although I didn’t play my best tennis there last year, I was tested and quickly realised I had to improve, which produced positive results, especially in Australia,” he said. “This year I’ll be aiming to get off to an even stronger start and of course I would love to win my first trophy of the year in Abu Dhabi.”

The current world No 4 also competed in the tournament in 2010.

Three more players will be added to the field, which typically consists solely of players ranked inside the world top 10.

“It’s the standard of tennis that keeps us coming back to Abu Dhabi,” said Wawrinka.

“Yes it’s hard to get wins but that’s the only way to improve and we all enjoy those contests ... you’re challenging against the world’s best players.

“It’s a unique formula which creates an incredibly positive vibe. It brings out the best in everyone.”

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