Andy Murray defeated Rafael Nadal in the exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi, reaching the final where he will meet Andrey Rublev. The one in Abu Dhabi, a few weeks after the restart of the ATP Tour, turns out to be a real match.
Back on the court after a stop of almost six months, the Spanish champion, who lacks clarity in tactical choices and struggles to find automatic mechanisms, from a physical point of view answers the vast majority of questions.
He in fact pays for an empty pass with the available serve during the first set and does not take advantage of the many (small) chances that 'Sir Andy' makes available. First, of course, to condense the vast majority of errors on the 5-5.
The Briton, who proves to be more solid and serves almost flawlessly overall, fixes the score at 6-4 7-5 and reaches Andrey Rublev, executioner of Denis Shapovalov in the final of the Mubadala World Tennis Championships.
Nadal wins eight of the first eight points with the serve available, but gives Murray 'the flank' at 15-30 in the heart of the fifth game after the most grueling exchange of the set. The Spaniard, who fails to recover with the forehand out of the service, sinks a rather trivial backhand at 15-40 and in fact 'gives' the set to the three-time Grand Slam champion.
Obviously called to the comeback, Nadal tries to make small improvements to the tactical plan and above all to remain attached to the score. Needless to say, it shortens the number of prolonged exchanges and pinches the left diagonal with more continuity.
A change of pace at 15-15 (during the eighth game) allows him to face 15-30. Even if at the same time, in the immediately following game, he needs the serve & volley (from 0-30) to get out of trouble. The Spaniard, called to serve to secure the tie break, commits nonsense at 15-15 and above all relies on hawk-eye, with poor results, at 15-30.
The rest is a completely necessary side dish: Murray, who loses the first fifteen, regroups the score with a splendid backhand solution and at the second useful opportunity grabs the success. The first with Nadal since 2016 on the red brick in Madrid.
Roger Federer: "My children had no idea of my success"
2021 did not give Roger Federer much satisfaction. The Swiss champion seemed very far from an acceptable condition and did not get the desired results.
Suffice it to say that the former world number 1 played just 13 official matches from March to Wimbledon, racking up nine wins and four losses. The round of 16 at the Roland Garros and the quarterfinals in London were his best seasonal results, too little for a legend like him.
A few weeks after the Championships, the 40-year-old from Basel announced that he would have to operate on his knee for the third time in the last 18 months. The 20-time Grand Slam champion will resume to training at the beginning of the new year, but will not be able to return to the circuit before the summer of 2022.
His presence at Wimbledon is therefore at great risk, as Federer himself admitted a few weeks ago. The Swiss also hailed the Top 10 for the first time since 2017. In a recent interview with Ringier, King Roger admitted that his four children were unaware of his enormous success until recently days.
Roger said: "For a long time, my four children had no idea what I had achieved during my tennis career. It was their friends who revealed to them that I was number 1 in the world. They were literally speechless. My victories have never been an important topic at home."
To the microphones of the moneycontrol.com portal, Christopher Clarey, author of a book dedicated to Roger, spoke about the chances of the Swiss player to return to competition. "I don't think he'll get the success he's looking for and I wouldn't be surprised if he decides to quit soon enough.
His last game ended with a bagel at Wimbledon, certainly not the memory Federer wants to leave in the minds of his fans. The chances of seeing it again at the highest levels are low, it is useless to go around it. The opponents have become stronger and more numerous."