Nadal clinches Mubadala title

ABU DHABI: Rafael Nadal concluded his prolonged pre-season in the perfect style by successfully defending his Mubadala World Tennis Championship title with a 6-4, 7-6 victory over David Goffin on Saturday.
Nadal, who ended his 2016 season in October to focus on fully rehabilitating a left wrist injury, looked sharp throughout the tournament in Abu Dhabi, beating Tomas Berdych in the quarter-final and Milos Raonic in the semis to reach his fifth final.
But the Spaniard, 30, was given his sternest test in the final by an opponent who has become a fan favourite this week. Goffin, 26, has been in fine form in the capital, dispatching Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Andy Murray en route to his showdown with Nadal.
Earlier on Friday, world number one Andy Murray shrugged off his surprise defeat to David Goffin in the semi-finals of the Mubadala World Tennis Championships on Friday. Wimbledon and Olympic champion Murray, who had won all five of his previous meetings with the 11th-ranked Belgian, was beaten 7-6 (7/4), 6-4.
“I was striking the ball well. It was a pretty high-quality match for the first match in the year after a break so it was good, just a bit unfortunate in the end,” Murray told The National newspaper.
“I find it great preparation for the new year. You’re practicing and playing matches against some of the best players in the world. So it’s a great way to start the year, get into a good rhythm. It sharpens you up and I’m happy to be back.”
Murray’s next stop is neighbouring Qatar for the opening week of the ATP season and two weeks out from the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of 2017.  — AFP