Sport | Tennis

Djokovic defends Abu Dhabi crown

World number one battles past brave Almagro in three hard-fought sets

  • By M. Satya 
NarayanAbu Dhabi 
Deputy Editor
  • Published: 22:02 December 29, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit:
  • SPO_121229_MUBADALA_TENNIS_HH SPORT World number 1 Novak Djokovic pose with the championship trophy after defeating Nicolas Almagro during the finals of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship at the Zayed Sports City Tennis stadium in Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates on Saturday December 29, 2012. PHOTO: HADRIAN HERNANDEZ/Gulf News
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Abu Dhabi: World number one Novak Djokovic was full of praise for the Mubadala World Tennis Championship after the defending champion won his second title in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

In a highly competitive and entertaining final against world number 11 Nicolas Almagro, Djokovic won 6-7, 6-3, 6-4, to claim the top prize of US$ 250,000.

It was the perfect way for the Serbian star to warm up for his defence of the Australian Open, which begins on January 14.

“It was a fantastic experience again for me coming to Abu Dhabi. This is a very nice tournament, you always get great matches, very tough matches against top opponents, and great attendance also,” the world number one said.

“Me and Nico [Nicolas] had a lot of support. I see a lot of Serbian and Spanish flags here. It’s great, it is a very international crowd and people in Abu Dhabi showed again that they respect and love this sport so thanks for showing this passion,” he said much to the delight of his supporters.

Almagro had impressed with his blistering serves in the first set to take the tie-break, in which he rallied from 1-3 to win it 7-4.

But Djokovic, in true champion’s style, lifted his game to take the next two sets 6-3, 6-4.

Almagro, who was a late replacement for injured compatriot Rafael Nadal, showed he merited his inclusion in the event with a fighting display in the two hours, 34-minute encounter.

“I have had a lot of fun and I have to thank the organisers for calling me in the last minute because it is amazing to be here for me,” Almagro said.

“Now I want to rest because I am really tired. I have two more days before 2013 so I will be going home in a few hours. I want to enjoy my Christmas tomorrow.”

Shaikh Nahyan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC), Shaikh Diab Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Director of the Presidential Court, Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, CEO and Managing Director of Mubadala and Mohammad Al Mahmoud, General Secretary of ADSC, attended and gave away the trophies.

Comments (1)

  1. Added 11:19 December 30, 2012

    What a cracking day! The two players were having great banter with each other and the crowd as well as playing some fantastic tennis! A pleasure to witness!

    James, Dubau, United Arab Emirates

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