Nadal, Djokovic In The Field At The Mubadala World Tennis Championship
Some of the best tennis players in the world are part of the 2019 Mubadala World Tennis Championship. This is an appetizing, interesting run-up to the start of the 2020 tennis season as it’ll be a chance for some players to earn a good-size paycheck and yet play low-pressure tennis to feel out how the competition might try to approach tennis matches in the coming year. With the event getting underway on Thursday, let’s take a look at the tennis odds and see who has a good shot to win it:
TOURNAMENT: MUBADALA WORLD TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP
DATE: DECEMBER 19-21, 2019
LOCATION: ABU DHABI INTERNATIONAL TENNIS COMPLEX – ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
LAST 5 CHAMPIONS
2018: NOVAK DJOKOVIC
2017: KEVIN ANDERSON
2016 DECEMBER: RAFAEL NADAL
2016 JANUARY: RAFAEL NADAL
2015 JANUARY: ANDY MURRAY
This is an exhibition, so don’t place too much emphasis on anything which happens in Abu Dhabi, but if you did have to pick someone to win this event, the natural choice is Daniil Medvedev. Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have nothing to prove at this tournament. They just need to be ready for the Australian Open, which is a month away. Stefanos Tsitsipas has a lot to prove on the ATP Tour in the 2020 season, but he doesn’t have much to prove here. He won the 2019 season-ending ATP Finals in London, so he played deeper into 2019 than much of the competition here. He will probably treat this event with less intensity and focus than other participants. This leaves Gael Monfils, Hyeon Chung, and Medvedev. Chung isn’t ready to win anything. Monfils could, but Medvedev showed a noticeable level of top-tier consistency in the second half of the 2019 season. He and Monfils are the players most likely to treat this event seriously and make a big run toward the title.
THE DARK HORSE
The dark horse is Monfils. In a crowded field with Djokovic and Nadal, Medvedev is the natural favorite and Tsitsipas is an interesting lurker. Monfils, though, could surprise everyone and win. Monfils had a good 2019 season by his standards. He reached the U.S. Open quarterfinals before losing late in a fifth set to Matteo Berrettini. He very nearly reached a major semifinal, which hasn’t happened much in his career. He reached the quarterfinals of Indian Wells earlier in the year. He reached the semifinals in Montreal in the summer. He stacked together several strong hardcourt results. Injuries got in the way of his progress, especially at Indian Wells. He could sneak up on the field and win this thing.
WHOM NOT TO TRUST
Nadal is the player to not trust, much as he was not to be trusted in Shanghai (he withdrew just before the tournament) or in London at the ATP Finals (where he didn’t make the semifinal round of the tournament). Nadal has to protect his body and not overwork himself, especially on hardcourts. Nadal was fragile in the first half of the 2019 season, so he will want to take it easy here in the lead-up to the 2020 season. There is simply very little reason for Nadal to go all-out in this event.
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