(December 27, 2012) ABU DHABI – No. 9 Janko Tipsarevic and No. 5 David Ferrer began the Mubadala World Tennis Championship on Thursday with straight set victories on opening night at Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi.
In the first match of the three-day tournament, Tipsarevic, making his debut at the exhibition event, stopped the reigning US Open and Olympic champion Andy Murray 6-3 6-4.
Tipsarevic secured a break in the fourth game of the opening set clinging to the baseline with long rallies.
Tipsarevic kept the momentum going in the second set taking a 3-1 lead and never looking back
“It’s not every day that you get to play a grand slam champion and an Olympic gold medalist, “the Serbian said. “ I know it’s an early season tournament but I can tell you that the six of us take this very seriously. I knew I could beat Andy as I have beaten him before. He’s a totally different animal now as he won a grand slam and Olympic gold so beating him here has given me confidence. Both of us have very similar games so it’s great to come out on top and I’m looking forward to playing Nicolas tomorrow. We’ve only played once so it should be interesting.”
The second match of the evening saw a rematch of the 4th rubber of the Davis Cup Final with the same result – No. 5 David Ferrer of Spain topped No. 6 Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-4.
Ferrer zoomed to a 5-0 opening set lead and never looked back.
“I played well today and I was surprised as it has been a long time without playing a competition,“ said Ferrer. “It’s a fast court and this was the first time I played at night but I played a good game. I will enjoy a victory for now but tomorrow I will have to play my best against Novak (Djokovic).”
Friday’s play will feature two semi-finals both featuring a Serbian versus Spaniard match-up – No. 1 Novak Djokovic will face Ferrer and Nicolas Almagro will take on Tipsarevic.
“I managed to have the best year of my career in 2011 and I knew that it was going to be difficult in 2012 to maintain No. 1 of the world and play consistently, “ Djokovic said to media. “ I did and so this year was an even more successful year from a psychological aspect. Right now I can approach the new season with a lot of confidence because I won the last big tournament of the year in London and I hope that I can continue playing well. Ambitions are always high and I want to win every Grand Slam and major tournament I play and this year is no different.”
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All photos by Abigail Hinto.
Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News