Djokovic rallies to dethrone Anderson in Abu Dhabi

Novak-Djokovic

Serbia's Novak Djokovic and South Africa's Kevin Anderson pose at the end of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship 2018 in Abu Dhabi, on December 29, 2018.

In an interview during the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, Novak Djokovic commented on the current and future situation of tennis, where on one side the Big 3 continue to dominate - Novak, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer - and on the other, a lot of younger players coming up.

Anderson who had stated before the Championship began that his primary goal was to play both Nadal and Djokovic to test his game, said: "I played really good tennis over the last few days".

The Russian had been due to play Rafael Nadal in a play-off for third place, but that had been cancelled after the Spaniard had withdrawn from the event on Friday night to rest following his semi-final loss to Kevin Anderson.

The South African, ranked sixth in the world ahead of the new ATP Tour season, survived a scare on his own serve in the fourth game before breaking his rival in the ninth, allowing him to serve out for the opener.

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Djokovic extended his dominance over Anderson, whose only victory in 10 matches against the Serb came a decade ago in Miami.

"I have great memories out here and of years playing great matches".

Djokovic was patient before pouncing late in the second set, claiming the pivotal break in the 12th game, but was then uncharacteristically wasteful in a tense decider, with four match-point opportunities going begging. A forehand victor and two aces the first on his second serve, was enough for the world number six, Anderson to win his next service game. I could feel the tension between us, two great competitors.

Karen Khachanov won 2-1. I don't want to suffer more, " a cautious Nadal said on Saturday. When you play someone like this at this level you want to win. "I can not thank enough the tournament organization for the understanding", Nadal said, adding that he aims to reach optimum form in time for the Australian Open, which begins on January 14.

"Being honest, I'm satisfied the way I was playing tennis". Honestly this is a flawless way to start the season.

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