Abu Dhabi: Andy Murray made a statement for the 2015 season by easily defeating Rafael Nadal to reach the final at an exhibition event here yesterday.
Andy Murray reacts during his semi-final match against Rafael Nadal in Abu Dhabi. Pic/AP/PTI.
Although the grandly-titled Mubadala World Tennis Championship carries no ranking points, both men were fully committed and Murray showed he is in fine shape physically and mentally with a 6-2 6-0 victory.
The Scot struggled past Nadal’s countryman Feliciano Lopez in the first round on Thursday but looked sharp from the start as he showed off the impact of his winter training camp in Miami.
Nadal, by contrast, was clearly rusty in his first match since the appendectomy that brought an early end to his 2014 season two months ago. It is the first time Murray has beaten one of his ‘big-four’ rivals since defeating Novak Djokovic in the final of Wimbledon a year and a half ago.
Murray finished his 2014 season by winning just a single game against Roger Federer at the ATP World Tour Finals in London and looked both ill at ease with his game and short on confidence.