Last day of 8th edition of Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi started with the match for 3rd place between David Ferrer and Stan Wawrinka, and it was a very entertaining match. A lot of ups and downs but in the end the Spaniard won 6-7 6-4 10-8 after 88 minutes of play.
David led 5-2 in first set after breaking rival in the sixth game and he served for the first set up 5-3. Wawrinka started to play better from that moment, winning 3 games in a row, but he also was not able to serve out for the set in the twelfth game, as Ferrer broke him to force tie break.
David made lot of mistakes, frustrated about the huge advantage he let off, and Stan took tie break in convincing style, by 7-1. Second set was more fluid, with easy service games. Ferrer broke in the fifth game, enough to win the set 6-4 and draw match to the super tie-break.
Wawrinka opened it better, racing to 5-0 a lead after 2 mini breaks, but persistent Spaniard came back to 6 all and won it in the end by 10-8, after Stan's big mistake. Final match was probably the best in all 3 days, with great pace from both Nadal and Raonic.
Nadal in the end prevailed by 7-6 6-3 after showing some great tennis. He is looking really sharp and motivated to do much better in 2016, and season started in perfect way. He was the better player today, dominating the points with his strong and precise forehands, also with good enough return game.
His backhand is on very high level too, enabling him to defend and do some damage from that wing. Raonic fired 25 service winners but it wasn't enough to force at least a tie-break in the second set, Nadal found the way to break, waiting for rival's booming serves 3 or 4 meters behind baseline.
Rafa got the first break points in game 5, following some great returns (amazing forehand return winner at 158 km/h) but Milos saved them with a nice smash and a service winner, to hold. In game 7 Milos wasted a 40-0 lead, Nadal again came back to deuce and close all the break chances but Canadian stayed focus to keep his serve.
Nadal dominated in the tie-break, making 2 mini breaks for an easy 7-2 and an important lead of one set after 54 minutes. In a thrilling and very demanding 4th game of second set, which lasted more than 10 minutes, Raonic struggled on his serve again, saving 3 break points to somehow stay in touch.
Still, Nadal got another chance when Milos netted an easy smash, and this time the Spaniard broke for a 3-1 lead. That was enough to win the match, as they both served well after that, with no chances for break. Nadal is in really good shape after those two matches against Ferrer and Raonic, and it seems like all the hard work of the off-season is already paying off.
World number 5 will now travel to Doha, for the first ATP event of the season next week, and he will open his campaign against fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno-Busta. ALSO READ: ATP CHENNAI: Top seed Wawrinka to face Paire or Muller in semis, Coric or Bautista Agut on Anderson´s path