Djokovic ready for new season after Abu Dhabi triumph

Sherman Parsons
January 1, 2019

Novak Djokovic is the champion of the 2018 Mubadala World Tennis Championship (MWTC) in Abu Dhabi.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic holds the trophy after he beat South Africa's Kevin Anderson in the final match of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on December 29.

And speaking after the semi-final, Anderson revealed that he noticed a difference in Nadal's serve.

The women's field includes seven of the world's top 10 - defending champion Elina Svitolina, US Open victor Naomi Osaka, Sloane Stephens, Petra Kvitova, Karolina Pliskova, Kiki Bertens, and Daria Kasatkina.

Earlier in the day, Russia's Karen Khachanov won the third-place match 6-3, 4-6, 10-3 over Austrian Dominik Thiem, who stepped in for Nadal after the Spaniard made a decision to skip the contest to avoid aggravating an injury.

Djokovic, with two breaks, in the sixth and eighth games of the set, strolled to a 6-2 win in the set and secured his passage in the final with a 6-4, 6-2 win.

Asked if there is a record he dreams of capturing before the end of his career, Djokovic said: "I would lie if I say I didn't want to get to as high as Grand Slam wins number possible".

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"I have great memories out here and of years playing great matches". I don't want to suffer more, " a cautious Nadal said on Saturday. I could feel the tension between us, two great competitors.

The Serb takes on either Russian Karen Khachanov or Dominic Thiem of Austria in Abu Dhabi on Friday and officially kicks off his 2019 season at the Qatar Open in Doha next week.

He said he still had some pain, but "I'm in a better place than I was a few months ago". "If you play bad, even if you are 11 or 35 you will not go deep you know".

Nadal's 2018 season was impacted by injury, with the 17-time grand slam champion completing just one hard-court tournament, while he missed the ATP Finals with an abdominal complaint.

Having arrived for the Brisbane International ahead of the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal is ready to put his injury woes behind him.

Anderson who had stated before the Championship began that his primary goal was to play both Nadal and Djokovic to test his game, said: 'I played really good tennis over the last few days.

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