Djokovic downs SA's Anderson in Abu Dhabi final

Elena Summers
January 1, 2019

1 fought past last year's victor Kevin Anderson 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 in Saturday's final.

Novak Djokovic was pleased to record a confidence-boosting win over Kevin Anderson in the final of the World Tennis Championship ahead of the new ATP Tour season.

And it turned out to be a tensed affair, with Djokovic rallying from one set down to prevail 4-6 7-5 7-5 over the reigning Wimbledon finalist to emerge victorious after battling out for nearly two hours and 30 minutes. Atmosphere heated up on an nearly fully packed Centre Court when the 31-year-old Serbian pushed the match the distance with a break in the 12th game of the second set. "I had one of the best match points I have ever had and I worked hard for the win." .

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. "I am grateful that this season has taught me a lot about myself as a tennis player and as a person".

As a fan, I salute that change.' Djokovic also spoke about his current shape: 'I am playing good tennis in last six months.

Nadal admitted that he needed to take it game by game on his comeback, and suggested he would not be pressured into pushing his body too much. I could feel the tension between us, two great competitors. And this is what you want to see in sport - young players showing their courage and stepping up. "The match (in Abu Dhabi) is a step forward for me, that's the main thing". Had a few in-roads in his serve game, but couldn't afford to lose my serve games, added the South African. The contest went on serve in the second set until Thiem broke the Khachanov in the ninth game and comfortably held serve to take the set 6-4. Honestly this is a flawless way to start the season.

A right knee injury forced Nadal to retire from his US Open semifinal in early September - his last competitive match - and the 32-year-old Spaniard had ankle surgery at the start of November. I was happy with my game tonight and I can leave with a ton of positives.

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