Tipsarevic Tops Murray, Ferrer Over Berdych in Abu Dhabi

 Janko Tipsarevic

(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.”

All photos by Abigail Hinto.

Karen Pestaina for Tennis Panorama News


No. 1 Djokovic is Looking Back, Looking Forward To 2013

Novak Djokovic Abu Dhabi

By Abigail Hinto

(December 27, 2012) ABU DHABI – Coming off one of the most successful seasons a player has ever had on tour in 2011, the question for Novak Djokovic for 2012 was how much would a letdown 2012 be? It’s hard to expect a player to repeat the kind of peak performance Djokovic achieved in 2011, but suffice to say, 2012 was not a disappointing year for him. He defended his Australian Open title, won the ATP World Tour Finals,  three Masters 1000 events and ended the year as world No. 1 again.

In a way, it was impressive the way he was able to maintain his consistency, hold off plenty of challengers, and defend as many points as he did to reclaim the No. 1 position he lost in the middle of the year. Despite the bumps and losses along the way, Djokovic’s mentality through 2012 was most impressive. In fact, in the pre-tournament interview he gave today at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships, he regards his 2012 year as the more successful year psychologically. “I had to face many circumstances on and off court that were not easy. I overcomed [sic] it and right now, I feel relieved in a way because I got another good year,” assessed Djokovic. And ending the year strongly, winning the World Tour Finals, cementing his world No. 1 status, brings an ever-confident Djokovic to the new year.

Djokovic has been working hard in his pre-season training the past three weeks already, where he started with fitness training before gradually increasing the hours spent on the tennis court. Though he feels he’s still not at a 100% the way he was at the end of the season, he knows he’s slowly getting there. Choosing to play two exhibition tournaments, here in Abu Dhabi and later the Hopman Cup is also all part of the plan to get to the Australian Open in peak form. Explaining his decision not to enter any ATP tournaments at the start of the year, Djokovic said he didn’t want to face right away the stress of winning every single match he plays. He wants to take his time working on his game, a luxury they don’t get during the rest of the year. “I feel very fit right now,” adds Djokovic, and just a couple more weeks and he feels he’ll reach his top fitness level and tennis game again. Just in time for his Australian Open title defense.
Abigail Hinto is covering the Mubadala World Tennis Championships in Abu Dhabi, UAE as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow her updates on twitter at @TennisNewsTPN.
All photos by Abigail Hinto for Tennis Panorama

New Season, New Goals

Andy Murray 12 26 Abu Dhabi

By Abigail Hinto

(December 26, 2012) ABU DHABI – Six of the top eleven players in the world,  are gathered in Abu Dhabi to start their season at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships (MWTC). Three of the players, namely Janko Tipsarevic, Tomas Berdych and Andy Murray showed up on Tuesday for their pre-tournament news conferences.  No. 11 Nicolas Almagro replaced Rafael Nadal, who withdrew from the event with a stomach virus.

Despite all three belonging in the top 10, and despite the small gap in their rankings, these three players are in vastly different stages in their careers with varying expectations, pressures and goals. And the goals they’ve set for themselves for the new season give an interesting insight to how they see their careers, where they’re at now and what they feel they should be able to accomplish.
Tipsarevic, the relative newcomer in the top 10 has set his sights on qualifying for the World Tour Finals in London. And with his best showing at a grand slam only consisting of two quarterfinal appearances, both at the US Open this year and last, he aims to have deeper runs at the slams this year. His tight quarterfinal loss against David Ferrer at this year’s US Open has shown him that though he’s not quite there yet in the level he needs to challenge the top players, he’s getting close.
Tomas Berdych meanwhile has already made finals and a couple of semifinals at the majors. His goal now, is to hold that trophy. Saying that he was happy for Andy Murray finally winning his slam, noting that it’s good that someone had once again broken the stranglehold Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic had on winning the majors, could acknowledging Murray’s breakthrough give Berdych the inspiration to try to win one for himself as well? Davis Cup this year, a grand slam next year?
As for Andy Murray, after finally winning that major he’s been working so hard for and been pressured on winning since he was first considered a contender in 2008, how does he re-set his goals? Murray is a short-term goal-setter which he says he’s always been with his career. So, it’s one major at a time for him, now focusing solely on the Australian Open trophy. Asked if reaching no.1 is a top priority, Murray answers that it’s not, as that ranking only comes with the results from every tournament he plays.
And as the Mubadala World Tennis Championships starts on Wednesday, we’ll get to see these three players finally begin their first step towards their goals.
Abigail Hinto is covering the Mubadala World Tennis Championships in Abu Dhabi, UAE as media for Tennis Panorama News. Follow her updates on twitter at @TennisNewsTPN.
All photos by Abigail Hinto for Tennis Panorama

Djokovic Dismisses Ferrer for Abu Dhabi Crown

Novak Djokovic of Serbia lifts his trophy after winning the Mubadala World Tennis Championship at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi December 31, 2011. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Tags: SPORT TENNIS)


Novak Djokovic pocketed $250,000 for winning the exhibition Mubadala World Tennis Championship defeating Spain’s David Ferrer in Saturday’s final 6-2, 6-1 in Abu Dhabi.

“This is the best way to start the 2012 season. I must say I’m really happy with the way I’m playing. Playing against the top players in the world in this way gives me a lot of confidence,” said the Serbian Djokovic.

“He was better than me, said Ferrer. “He played a really good match. I tried but maybe I played at a deficit all the time. I fought, but with Djokovic at the moment it’s difficult to beat him.”

In the third place contest, Rafael Nadal dominated Roger Federer 6-1, 7-5.

“It was a positive match. I played better than yesterday and that was the most important,” said Nadal.

“It’s about getting ready and feeling fine out there and enjoying a great atmosphere here and having the chance to play world class players,” said Federer. “Trying a few things, see where you are at and see where the other guys are at.”

“Obviously, I could tell Novak and Rafa are playing really well. That is not a surprise to me. I expected them to be in good shape for next year and they proved that to me this weekend.”


Djokovic Crushes Federer, Ferrer Stops Nadal to Advance to Final in Abu Dhabi Exhibition

David Ferrer of Spain hits a return to Rafael Nadal of Spain during their Mubadala World Tennis Championship match at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi December 30, 2011. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Tags: SPORT TENNIS)



Novak Djokovic destroyed Roger Federer and David Ferrer knocked off Rafael Nadal to advance to the Friday final of the World Tennis Championship exhibition event in Abu Dhabi.

No. 1  Djokovic ran over Federer 6-2, 6-1 in 44 minutes. “It is the perfect start to season. I played great,” said the Serbian. “It’s something that makes me very happy.”

“He has won over 15 matches at the end of 2011, so I’m sure he won’t feel down after this loss here. His main goal here is to get a couple of matches under his belt, as it is for all of us.”

Federer spoke about his play. “It’s surprising when it goes quick and you are on the losing side. It’s not so comfortable sometimes,” said Federer.

You try hard and try different things and it’s not working. He was playing really well. Unfortunately, it was a short-lived match but we know he is a very good front runner. He took the lead in both sets quite early and that made it difficult because conditions were pretty quick and my game was not good enough today to make it more competitive.”

In the battle of the Spaniards, World No. 2 Nadal fell to  Ferrer 6-3, 6-2 in seventy minutes.

“I knew before coming here that I was not ready to win a match against David Ferrer, not to win a match against Djokovic or Federer,“ noted Nadal who is nursing a sore shoulder. But I am ready to spend hours on court without risk of injury. That is the most important thing. I need this transition, hours of practice. If I am here, I will probably have a better feeling for Doha.”

Djokovic will face Ferrer in Friday’s final, while Nadal will battle Federer for third place. The winner of this exhibition event will receive $250,000.


Djokovic Stops Monfils to Set up Clash with Federer in Abu Dhabi Exhibition

Novak Djokovic of Serbia hits a return to Gael Monfils of France during their Mubadala World Tennis Championship match at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi December 29, 2011. REUTERS/Jumana El Heloueh (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Tags: SPORT TENNIS)


World No. 1 Novak Djokovic defeated Frenchman World No. 16 Gael Monfils 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 at the World Tennis Championship exhibition. Six of the top-ranked men are participating in the exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The Serbian will face-off against Roger Federer in Friday’s semifinals. Federer received a bye.

Djokovic talked about his preparation for the 2012 season with the media in a news conference, “If I have the right mindset, if I do my preparation in the next two weeks as well as I did in 2011 you know I am confident that I can still play well.

“And if I could repeat the year I had in 2011, that’s something that I can tell you I cannot promise, you know I am looking forward to it. I am enjoying my game now, I have lots of confidence.”

“I am still not 100 percent on the court, I don’t know how I will play tomorrow but it is always a challenge when you are playing Federer.”


David Ferrer of Spain returns the ball to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France during their Mubadala World Tennis Championship match at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi, December 29, 2011. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Tags: SPORT TENNIS)

Earlier in the day, Spain’s David Ferrer, stopped France’s Jo Wilfried Tsonga 2-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2. Ferrer will face fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal in the semifinals.

Nadal talked to the media about 2011 and what he hope to accomplish in2012.  “Last year I played sometimes a little bit predictable. My game doesn’t have enough surprise for opponents especially the last part of the year.

“I have to play more aggressive, not play every point the same way, concentrate on trying to create opportunities.

“This is not the time to change many things. This is the time to keep playing well, to keep improving my tennis. I will just try and be competitive in all the tournaments. I was competitive in all the tournaments and was in three Grand Slam finals.”


The National reports that Nadal will not play the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in February. He will take off the entire month of February. Nadal did not play any tournaments last February.

“I didn’t know if I was able to come here (Abu Dhabi) until three days ago. I didn’t know if I had enough practice. I practiced as much as I can, but not as much as I like.

“Hopefully, the shoulder will be good. It’s always exciting for me to be in Abu Dhabi. I hope I made the right decision to be here.”

“I have to stop after Australia and have a chance to practice. I need the February month to practice well to prepare for the rest of the season. The most important part of the season starts with Indian Wells and ends with Wimbledon, and this year it ends with the Olympics.”

“I had a problem before London with my shoulder and I had to stop for about 10 days before the (ATP) finals. It felt better but again it resurfaced. In December, I did not have enough time to practice because of that.”

The winner of this six-man field will net $250,000 winner-takes-all exhibition.