Serena Williams will take on her sister Venus on the opening day of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi on 27 December.
It marks the second appearance at the tournament for the 23-time grand slam champion, who defeated Jelena Ostapenko last year in the first women’s match in the tournament’s history.
The Williams sisters will play on the first day of the three-day tournament, which also sees six of the best male tennis players go head to head.
Serena Williams said: “I loved playing in Abu Dhabi last year. I am excited to return to such a beautiful city and to see my fans.
“This time, I’ll be playing against my sister, so the match will be even more special.”
Ready? I am. @MubadalaTennis Championship here I come. #MWTC pic.twitter.com/lzYOvyFMC4
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) December 14, 2018
Alongside music and activities in the Tennis Village, the tournamnet will take place at the International Tennis Centre at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi.
Tickets start at AED 100 but children will be have free entry on the first day as part of a family discount.
Tournament organisers have described the 11th edition of the World Tennis Championship as the “most exciting”, with four of the top 10 men’s players in the world taking part.
World number one and two, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, will join the competition in the second round, where they will play against the winners of Hyeon Chung vs Kevin Anderson and Dominic Thiem vs Karen Khachanov.
Anderson won last year’s tournament, while Nadal has won on four occasions and Djokovic has three titles.
The final takes place on 29 December, 16 days ahead of the start of the Australian Open.
The tournament is organised by FLASH Entertainment. CEO John Lickrish said: “The quality of players this year reiterates MWTC’s importance in the global tennis calendar and its strong heritage of being a fanstastic season-opener.”
It’s OFFICIAL! #MWTC is now G.O.A.T pasture! Presenting to you the draw schedule of our star lineup, so you know when to wander these pastures. Buy your tickets TODAY – https://t.co/AaDLqtLe3b #Tennis #AbuDhabi pic.twitter.com/RMbKmgdJ2o
— MWTC (@MubadalaTennis) December 10, 2018
Djokovic and Nadal had been set to meet in a special exhibition match in Saudi Arabia on 22 December, but that was called off in November to allow Nadal more time to recover from ankle surgery.
Last year’s World Tennis Championship saw Serena Williams make her return to competition follow the birth of her daughter. This time round she will be using it as preparation for her bid at a record-equalling 24th grand slam title at the Australian Open.
“We are absolutely thrilled Serena is returning again,” Lickrish continued. “We are avid supporters of women in sport and are delighted to welcome both ladies to what is set to be an enthralling and closely fought championship.”
The tournament’s sponsors, Mubadala, an investment firm in the United Arab Emirates, is also the title sponsor of a women-only tennis tournament in the US.
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