Nadal to skip 3rd-place match at Mubadala

Nadal to skip 3rd-place match at Mubadala

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.

The final of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship will see on Saturday World No.1 Novak Djokovic facing the challenge of ATP-ranked no.6 Kevin Anderson in the showdown for the title.

Anderson was on the same level with Novak in the opening 11 games but he failed to secure the tie break, getting broken at 15 following a forehand error while serving to stay in the set at 5-6, handing this part of the match to Djokovic who was now the favorite in the decider.

While the Serbian brushed aside the challenge of ATP-ranked no.11 Karen Khachanov of Russian Federation in straight sets 6-4, 6-2 in the second semi-final, to storm into the final, there was a shock result in store in the first semi, with the South African Anderson stunning the World No.2 Rafael Nadal in three sets 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a match that lasted 1 hour and 52 minutes.

The South African managed to save two match points in the final set before succumbing to the Serb.

"I practised here and played real matches so it is a great way to start the season".

Khachanov said of that setback: "I had a few chances opportunities in the first few games, there was a few times it was 0-30 on his serve". They have shown they can challenge top three players for titles.

Nadal, who won his 17th Grand Slam at the French Open in June, said he was happy with his progress "but of course I need to prove myself in competitions and hopefully, playing here will help me take the first steps". I think it was the best match point I've ever played!

Djokovic has lost just three times in the last six months, but all three defeats came against players aged 22 and under (Stefanos Tsitsipas in Toronto, Karen Khachanov in Paris, and Alexander Zverev in London at the World Tour Finals).

"I feel I am not prioritizing success on the tennis court for the sake of success only as I used to do probably until about five years ago", Djokovic said. I played three good matches and it is always a great way to start the new season.

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