Abu Dhabi: It was a day of contrasting straight-set wins. While Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka was simply overpowered by the world number one Novak Djokovic in his 6-1 6-2 defeat, 14-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal produced moments of magic against Andy Murray and yet ended up with an embarrassing 6-2 6-0 defeat.
The big Friday crowd at the Zayed Sports City tennis stadium must have hoped for some great entertainment, but in the end both the semifinals of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship ended in a whimper. Djokovic will now take on world number six Murray for the title on Saturday while Nadal will get another chance to get some more time on the court when he faces Wawrinka — the man who beat him in last year’s Australian Open final — in the third place match.
Wawrinka, who looked in great touch against Nicolas Almagro on Thursday, failed to maintain his level as Djokovic relentlessly attacked him from the baseline, breaking his serve four times in the match. “I guess I can’t have any complaints after a win like this,” Djokovic quipped at the post-match Press conference.
“I am extremely happy to have played such a fine match. After all it was my first match of the season. I managed to execute everything the way I wanted to. So it’s great to be able to play at a very high level. Playing a match like this against Stan who is one of the best players in the world will obviously help me.”
Djokovic was excited to be playing Murray in the final.
“For all of us in the tournament it’s important to get time on the court, to try to see where our game is. The crowd is great here. They love tennis. So it’s inspiring to play in front of such crowd.
While Djokovic clinched the deal in just 57 minutes, Murray needed one hour and 28 minutes to finish what statistically looked like a very easy match. The match produced some fascinating rallies in the first set, but Nadal just couldn’t go for the kill when he had chances to finish off the big points.
Later Murray admitted that it wasn’t a cake walk for him. “Today was a tough match. I mean it wasn’t a really what the score (6-2, 6-0) suggested. There were a lot of close games. He had a lot of break points. Luckily I managed to win lot of important points. It was a good quality match,” the Briton said.
Murray was struggling a bit with his shoulder during the first set. “Yeah, it’s a bit sore actually. I don’t know exactly what happened. I never had any trouble with my shoulder before. I have to see how I feel tomorrow morning.”