Novak Djokovic Praises Younger Players

Novak Djokovic defeats Kevin Anderson in Mubadala World Tennis Championship final, 30-shot rally on match point, video

Serbian ace Novak Djokovic defeated defending champion Kevin Anderson 4-6 7-5 7-5 to win the Mubadala World Tennis Championship a fourth time.

Spanish tennis great Rafael Nadal has said that he will skip the match for third place at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship as a precaution.

"Tough match, three-set match, I didn't play sets before here", said Nadal who had not played since a knee problem forced him to retire during his US Open semi-final against Juan Martin del Potro in September.

The world No 11 signed off from the event in Abu Dhabi on Saturday with a victory against Dominic Thiem in an exhibition match, coming out on top 6-3, 4-6, 10-3.

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

In the second set, Anderson required only one break of serve - in the sixth game - to take the set and take the match into the deciding third set.

"Of course it helps to not face the top eight in the first three rounds, then if you play good you play them in the later rounds".

"I suffered a lot in terms of injury". I think it was the best match point I've ever played! I was happy with my game tonight and I can leave with a ton of positives.

Before the final, fans were treated to a special exhibition match between world number eight Dominic Thiem and Paris Masters victor Karen Khachanov, following the unfortunate withdrawal of Rafael Nadal from the third-place play-off. And this is what you want to see in sport - young players showing their courage and stepping up.

"It was a little bit of risk that we don't make it into the beginning of the season, but here we are, practising more or less hard and we are excited to start the new season", he said.

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.

Djokovic has lost just three times in the last six months, but all three defeats came against players aged 22 and under (Stefanos Tsitsipas in Toronto, Karen Khachanov in Paris, and Alexander Zverev in London at the World Tour Finals).

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