Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a return to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France during their semi-final tennis match at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi on December 27, 2013. - Reuters
Novak Djokovic was in imperious form as the Serbian world number two marked the start of his new tennis chapter — one in which a certain Boris Becker would play a key part — with a very impressive victory over a dynamic opponent.
Today’s matches (UAE time)
Third place playoff
Rafael Nadal vs Jo-Wilfried tsonga (3pm)
Novak Djokovic vs David Ferrer (5pm)
Djokovic’s 7-6 6-3 win over Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second semi-final of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship on Friday evening was full of brilliant shotmaking — mostly from the baseline — as he booked his place in the final of the Abu Dhabi tournament for the third straight year.
Now in Saturday’s final, Djokovic will play Spanish world number three David Ferrer who stunned world number one Rafael Nadal with a straight set (6-4 6-4) win in the first semi-final in the afternoon.
While Nadal failed to find his top game on a fast court in his first match of the season, Briton Andy Murray showed remarkable improvement as the world number four outclassed Stanislas Wawrinka during his 6-3 6-4 win in the fifth place playoff.
However, the day clearly belonged to the six-time Grand Slam winner Djokovic. Even the booming serves and stinging forehands from Tsonga failed to stop him from finding his top gear. The first set was close but in the tie-break, the Serb, as he almost always does, played the big points better. From then on, he was unstoppable and played almost every shot in the book. The five thousand fans in the stands couldn’t have asked for more.
“I mean I exceeded my expectations today. I played really well. I served well. You need to serve well on a fast court like this. Luckily it was working very well for me today. But really I didn’t think that I would play so well in my first game of the season on a surface that suits the style of the player I played today. It really couldn’t have been sweeter today,” a delighted Djokovic told reporters in the post-match Press conference.
“Make no mistake. Tsonga played really well, especially in the first set. He was serving well, coming to the nets. He was very aggressive. That’s why my performance today was very pleasing.”
Novak said it would be a great final on Saturday against another quality player. “David (Ferrer) is another great player. Of course, he is different from Tsonga. But Ferrer has great quality. You saw that against Rafa today. He played a great match.”
David Ferrer of Spain, left, and his fellow countryman Rafael Nadal of Spain leave the court after their match during the second day of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi. AP
A modest Ferrer though played down his victory over Nadal. “Yes, I am happy with the way I played today. But you also have to consider the fact that it was Rafa’s first game today. I already had played a match yesterday. Plus, it is never easy to play against a player like Rafa. Now tomorrow I have to play very well again,” Ferrer said.
Interestingly, it will be Ferrer’s second final appearance in the Abu Dhabi tournament after losing 6-2 6-1 in the 2011 final to Djokovic. The tenacious Spaniard will definitely hope to come up with a better match on Saturday.- email@example.com
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