Novak Djokovic continued where he left off at the end of last season by successfully defending his Mubadala World Tennis Championship title in Abu Dhabi. Starting the final as the heavy favourite with Betfair, the Serb picked up his first title of the new season courtesy over a 7-5 6-2 win over Spain’s David Ferrer.
Ferrer, who had beaten his fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals to reach the final, took an early 3-1 lead in the first set before Djokovic battled back to take the set 7-5. The Serbian star then wasted little time in taking the victory in the second set, continuing his run of winning five straight tournaments.
While the tournament is an unofficial event, five of the world’s top-10 players were among the field in Abu Dhabi. World number-one Nadal responded from the surprise defeat at the hands of Ferrer by beating Frenchman Jo-Wilfred Tsonga 7-6 6-3 in the third-place play-off.
The tournament was Djokovic’s since linking up with new coach Boris Becker, and the world number two admitted he was pleased with how things had started.
“I’m very satisfied with the way I played and I always enjoy coming back here. I have to say I’m really glad to have Boris joining our team. It’s great we’ve started by winning this trophy here. Hopefully we can continue like this during the year.”
Djokovic will be hoping to continue his winning run in the lead-up to the Australian Open. The four-time champion will be looking to defend his title once again in Melbourne, and the Serb is the current favourite to win a fifth title in the season’s first grand slam. Despite his recent dominance in the tournament, however, Djokovic is only a narrow favourite with Betfair ahead of current world number one Nadal.