(MENAFN- Mid-East) Elena Rybakina seals straight-sets victory over Daria Kasatkina at sold-out International Tennis Centre
Sofia Kenin and Bethanie Mattek-Sands crowned doubles champions
Event included historic flag ceremony featuring children from the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open Schools Program
Abu Dhabi, UAE: Elena Rybakina produced a superb performance to become champion of the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open presented by Abu Dhabi Sports Council, with the World Number 5 securing a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Daria Kasatkina in the capital, while American duo Sofia Kenin and Bethanie Mattek-Sands walked away with the doubles title after defeating Linda Noskova and Heather Watson in a contest disrupted by rain.
RYBAKINA SHINES ON SOLD-OUT SUNDAY:
The second edition of the WTA 500 event, which took place at the International Tennis Centre, Zayed Sports City, drew to a close with two entertaining finals played in front of a sell-out crowd on Stadium Court.
By the time Rybakina and Kasatkina stepped out on court, the sun was making an attempt to break through the clouds for the first time today, a huge slice of good fortune for those packed inside the stadium to watch the winner of what has been a wonderful tournament crowned.
Rybakina, the 2022 Wimbledon champion, has been in ominous form over the course of the competition, overcoming the likes of Danielle Collins and Liudmila Samsonova on her way to the final.
She started the match in similar fashion, breaking Kasatkina in her first service game to take control of the set, subsequently overpowering her opponent in every area to win it in effortless style.
Kasatkina responded well in the second and matched her opponent for much of the set. With the score level at 4-4, however, Rybakina forced a break which proved decisive as she held her serve in the following game to prevail 6-1, 6-4.
American pairing Kenin and Mattek-Sands, meanwhile, were crowned doubles champions courtesy of a straight-sets victory over Noskova and Watson.
The flow of the contest was disrupted by rain with the players forced off-court on two separate occasions during a first set which Kennin and Mattek-Sands, winners of the 2019 China Open, eventually clinched 6-4.
The second set was equally tight, with Noskova and Watson attempting to take it to a third, and there were big opportunities to do so as they passed up three set points.
They were ultimately made to pay, though, as the set went to a tie-break which Kenin and Mattek-Sands edged to clinch the trophy.
The presentation of the doubles winners trophies was made by H.E. Talal AlHashmi, Executive Director of Sports Developments Sector and runners up trophies by Khalid Al Qubaisi, Mubadala Investment Company. The singles winners trophy was presented by Sheikh Hasher Bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, President of UAE Tennis Federation and runners up trophy by HE Sara Musallam, Minister of State for Early Education, as a thrilling competition involving many of the world's best players came to a conclusion.
Homaid Al Shimmari, Deputy Group CEO at Mubadala Investment Company, said:“While the final match may have concluded, the spirit of the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open continues to ignite the passion of players and fans alike. We celebrate Elena Rybakina's well-deserved victory, a testament to Abu Dhabi's commitment to athletic excellence on a global stage.”
“As the curtain closes on this leg of the Middle East swing, we look forward to next year when new champions will rise and the legacy of the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open will continue to shine brightly.”
Beyond the thrill of competition, the tournament brought the community together and continues to play a significant role in the adoption and progress of grassroots tennis in the UAE, particularly through important community initiatives such as the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Schools Program and Road to Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open, while also supporting rising stars and seasoned champions alike, strengthening Abu Dhabi's position as a world-class destination for sports.
His Excellency Aref Hamad Al Awani, General Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said:“With the conclusion of the second edition of the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open, we would like to thank the participating players, the fans who attended and encouraged, and everyone who contributed to the success of this event.”
He added:“The Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open plays a pivotal role in shaping the growth of tennis in the UAE. It also inspires the next generation of athletes, and is further indication of Abu Dhabi's capabilities in hosting high-level events, which strengthens its position as a global sports destination.”
Al Awani concluded:“We thank our partners who contributed to the capital hosting this global event, and we look forward to seeing the development and growth of the competition in the coming years.”
MAGICAL MEMORIES CREATED:
Some of the children who were part of the Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open Schools Program were given the opportunity to participate in the tournament's closing ceremony, a once-in-a-lifetime experience to create lifelong memories on the big stage.
The children involved displayed flags bearing meaningful messages, which they had created especially for the event, out on ADCB Court 1 in front of family and friends watching on.
Having secured the doubles trophy with an impressive victory, Kenin and Mattek-Sands visited the Mubadala Suite where they took part in a Q&A session, while singles winner Rybakina posed for photographs by the Spartan Statue.
In the Fan Village, meanwhile, guests were treated to fantastic live musical performances from the likes of Milan on Sax and Ark Angelz, as the curtain came down on this year's Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open in entertaining style.
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