Abu Dhabi: Novak Djokovic, the world's top-ranked player, asserted his superiority by winning the Mubadala World Tennis Championship here last night — and his red-hot form even before 2012 had begun is certainly an ominous warning to his rivals.
Djokovic picked up $250,000 (Dh917,500) following his 6-2, 6-1 drubbing of world No 5 David Ferrer, the Serbian star repeating both the score and the manner of dominance with which he disposed of 16-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer on Friday.
Though he will not be playing any more events before he defends the Australian Open in Melbourne later this month, the bad news for his rivals is that Djokovic is already primed to repeat the dream 2011 season in which he won three Grand Slam titles and snatched the top ranking from Rafael Nadal.
In reply to a question from Gulf News on whether he was in the same zone like he was at this stage last year, Djokovic said: "My game is already up there where I wanted it to be. I will just try to maintain this level. I am not concerned about the lack of matches. I am confident that these three matches here will help me.
On the right track
"Though this is the first time I am playing in Abu Dhabi, I feel everything is going in the right way. At this stage, I feel better than I felt at this stage last year.
"This is something that makes me happy. If I am going to make the same results or not in the first five months is something I cannot say. But I am ready for it," said Djokovic, who took a little over an hour to subdue a highly-energetic Ferrer.
"The surface is similar to that of Melbourne. So it is a great way for me to prepare for Melbourne.
"It is always great to win a title. The best way to start off the 2012 season and I must say that I am very, very happy with the way I am playing. I am playing against the top players in the world and this gives me some kind of confidence."
Ferrer, who had a great match against defending champion Nadal, winning their semi-final in straight sets, was simply no match for Djokovic.
"It was a difficult match. I know why Djokovic is the number one player in the world," the Spaniard admitted after the final.
"I enjoy coming here. In 2009 I came here and enjoyed it a lot and I made it to the semi-final. This year I have lost the final. Hope next year I will win the final."