By Abigail Hinto
(December 28, 2012) ABU DHABI – David Ferrer could do no wrong on Thursday in his straightforward win against Tomas Berdych in his first match at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships. Today, he’s feeling what Berdych must have felt in yesterday’s first set as he was on the receiving end of an onslaught of Novak Djokovic‘s groundstrokes to lose the first set 0-6 in their semifinal match. While Ferrer was dictating rallies yesterday, he now found himself scrambling behind his baseline as Djokovic kept hitting his returns, forehands and backhands deep. There was no place Ferrer could go, that even an attempt to get to the net sees himself lobbed with a winner. What could have been an easy hold for a more respectable 5-1 score saw Ferrer let a 40-0 lead slip away to get broken and eventually lose the first set 6-0 in 28 minutes.
Was Djokovic just fooling with us when he told us in his pre-tournament news conference that he wasn’t at his top level yet? Except for one service game he lost where he broke himself more than the other way around, there didn’t look to be any signs of rust from Djokovic from the off-season break. He gets the lead in the second set with a break in the 6th game to eventually win the match 6-0, 6-3 in 1 hour and 10 minutes.
As if Djokovic needed any more confidence boost, this was the perfect start he was hoping for the new season. As he said in his post-match interview, it was a great performance and a great confidence-boost for him, where confidence is easier to lose than to gain.
It was a flawless start to the new season for Djokovic. With the lessons he’s learned from last year trying to defend all those points from 2011, no doubt he’ll be in a much better place mentally now as he begins his campaign to collect more grand slams, his main goal for 2013.
“This is a great surface when preparing for Australia,”Djokovic said of the exhibition tournament. “We love it here. We come days before to practice and to enjoy the beautiful weather. ”
“Novak is playing very consistent, he is in a very good moment now, very confident,” Ferrer said.
Djokovic will face Nico Almagro in Saturday’s final. The Spaniard rallied to defeat Janko Tipsarevic 6-2, 7-6 (3), 6-2.
What’s unique about the Mubadala Tennis Championships is that all the tennis players get to participate in tennis clinics held throughout the three-day event. Not just the kids, but even adults get to participate in a coaching clinic as well.