Abu Dhabi – 27th December 2012: Sports fans witnessed an exciting evening of first class tennis as world number nine Janko Tipsarevic and David Ferrer starred with straight set victories on an action packed opening night of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship at Zayed Sports City, Abu Dhabi.
In the first match of the three day tournament, Serbian Superstar Tipsarevic stole the headlines to overshadow the heroic return of reigning US Open and Olympic champion Andy Murray, defeating the British favourite 6-3 6-4.
Tipsarevic took the upper hand early in a lengthy first set that lasted 40 minutes securing a break of serve in the fourth game before maintaining his lead from the baseline with a series of long rallies that wore down the Olympic champion.The second set continued in a similar fashion to the first with Tipsarevic keeping the momentum with an aggressive and free flowing display, looking the sharper of the two rivals. His energy impressed thousands who filled the centre court stadium to see the kick off to a sensational weekend of tennis in the capital.
Another early set break saw the underdog race into a 3 – 1 lead, before serving out for a 6-4 victory in a match that lasted 1hour 24 minutes.
Speaking following his debut win in Abu Dhabi, Janko Tipsarevic said: “It’s not every day that you get to play a grand slam champion and an Olympic gold medalist. 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.”
For the first time in the tournament’s history the renowned lively atmosphere and explosive performances started at the later time to suit fans coming from work. The capacity crowd were treated to a gripping second match that saw close rivals World number 5, David Ferrer and World number 6, Tomas Berdych go head to head in a repeat of the Davis Cup Final.
Once again it was the Spanish sensation Ferrer who provided the stronger with the result going in favour of world rankings. Ferrer flew into a 5-0 lead in the opening encounter with a stunning display, before winning the opening set 6-2.
Last year’s finalist Ferrer’s domination continued in the second set as he overpowered his Czech rival with a confident performance that showed his fight qualities from the baseline. Berdych was given little opportunity to come back into the match with Ferrer making an early breakthrough before holding out for a 6-4 win and a two set victory.
Speaking after his win, Ferrer said:
“I played well today and I was surprised as it has been a long time without playing a competition. 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.”
Day two of the three-day ‘winner takes-all’ tournament is set for some truly epic encounters, as first semi-final sees world number one Novak Djokovic play David Ferrer in a repeat of last year’s final at 3pm. While the second semi-final brings together Serbian Janko Tipsarevic and Spain’s Nicolas Almagro for a centre court shootout for a place in the final.
Ahead of his title defense World number 1, Djokovic said; “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 number 1 of the world and play consistently. 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.”
Tickets for tomorrow’s games are now completely sold out but limited seats are available for Day 3 which will see the third and fourth play-off start at 3pm will the finale of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship soon after. Tickets are available now at www.thinkflash.ae or call 800 FLASH (35274).For more information visit www.mubadalawtc.com