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Novak Djokovic wins Abu Dhabi exhibition tournament

Published on Dec 30, 2012 6:07 AM
Serbia's Novak Djokovic challenges a line call during his men's singles final match against Spain's Nicolas Almagro at the Abu Dhabi Tennis Championships at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi, Dec 29, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

ABU DHABI (AFP) - Novak Djokovic got his season off to a perfect start by defeating Nicolas Almagro 6-7 (4/7), 6-3, 6-4 on Saturday in the final of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition tournament.

Djokovic had looked in impressive early season form in Friday's semi-finals, destroying world No.5 David Ferrer in straight sets, while Almagro, a late replacement for the injured Rafael Nadal, was taken all the way by Janko Tipsarevic.

But it was the Spaniard who edged a close first set 7/4 on a tiebreaker, with Djokovic, the winner last year, looking listless at times. The world No.1 put that setback quickly behind him as he broke Almagro to start the second set, but he failed to turn that into a 2-0 lead as Almagro broke back to level in the next game.

A double-fault from the Spaniard though saw the Serb take back the advantage and this time he held firm to level the set scores. The decider went with serve until the 10th game when Almagro served up three straight unforced errors to hand Djokovic the win.

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