The 2021 Mubadala World Tennis Championship is set to begin from the 16th of December and will feature some of the top players during the 3-day tournament. It is an annual tournament held in Abu Dhabi every year with the first edition played in 2011. Rafael Nadal is a 5-time champion and the most successful player at the event and will also be the defending champion this year.
Nadal won the 2019 finals against Stefanos Tsitsipas to win his 5th title and go ahead of Novak Djokovic who had won his 4th title in 2018 and matched the Spaniard’s tally. The 2020 edition was cancelled due to the Covid-19 Pandemic and action returns this year with the only women’s match also being played this year between teen sensation Emma Raducanu and Tokyo Olympics Gold medallist Belinda Bencic.
In the men’s field, apart from Nadal, 2-time champion Andy Murray, who is also the youngest ever champion at the tournament, Dominic Thiem, Andrey Rublev, Casper Ruud and Denis Shapovalov will be competing for the title this year. Ruud starts against Shapovalov while Thiem will take on Murray on the 16th.
On the 17th, the winner between Ruud and Denis will take on Rublev while Nadal will play against the winner of Thiem and Murray in the semi-finals of the 3-day tournament.
Andy Murray has not played against Nadal since 2016
If Murray is able to defeat Thiem, who will be making his comeback ever since he injured his wrist playing at the 2021 Mallorca Championships, the clash between Andy and Rafa will be the 25th meeting between the two former World No. 1’s having last met in the semi-final of the 2016 Madrid Masters where Murray won in straight-sets to have the head-to-head at 17-7 in favour of Nadal.
As for Thiem, Murray last played against the Austrian in the quarter-finals of the 2019 China Open where Thiem won in straight-sets to level their head-to-head at 2-2.