Ferrer to face Nadal in Abu Dhabi, Tsonga gets shot at Djokovic

An all-Spanish clash is set for Friday in Abu Dhabi after David Ferrer takes down Stanislas Wawrinka on the opening day of play. Meanwhile, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga sets up a showdown against Novak Djokovic.

(1) Rafael Nadal vs. David Ferrer

Ferrer kicked off the 2013 Mubadala World Tennis Championship on Thursday by defeating Stanislas Wawrinka 7-5, 6-1 in exactly one hour. The win set up an all-Spanish quarterfinal clash between Ferrer and Nadal.

The friendly foes have faced each other on 26 previous occasions, including six times last season and twice in a two-week span during the fall swing. Ferrer prevailed in Paris before Nadal exacted revenge in London as the world No. 1 improved his record in the head-to-head series to 21-5. The Abu Dhabi court is playing fast, so this could be more competitive than their past history against each other suggests.

Pick: Nadal in 3

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. (2) Novak Djokovic

Andy Murray’s unofficial return to tennis resulted in a 7-5, 6-3 loss to Tsonga on Thursday. Both players held serve throughout the first 11 games of the match before Tsonga struck from just about out of nowhere with a perfect backhand lob as his opponent served at 5-6, 30-40.

The Frenchman is through to a semifinal matchup against Djokovic, whom he has faced 16 times. Djokovic is 11-5 in the series, including 7-5 on hard courts. They squared off twice last season, with Djokovic cruising to straight-set victories in Indian Wells and Shanghai. The second-ranked Serb may not be interested in winning so convincingly on Friday, but he should do enough to advance.

Pick: Djokovic in 3

13 Comments on Ferrer to face Nadal in Abu Dhabi, Tsonga gets shot at Djokovic

  1. Unfortunately, RAfa lost. He had a few bad calls at big moments but made far too many errors. I guess Ferrer had the advantage of playing on the court yesterday.

    • I see it as a fortunate loss actually. It’s an exho and for Rafa, no need to over-extend himself and secondly, no need for a meaningless encounter with Djokovic the result of which people, including Djokovic, would put meaning to. Thirdly, for Daveed, this was important given his recent staff changes.

      More important for Rafa to save energy for the real battles which are just round the corner. Incidentally, I see this being the Rafa 2014 strategy: do not waste energy in meaningless matches, pick one’s battles.

      On to Doha. Vamos!

  2. I can’t say I’m sorry that Rafa lost to Ferrer because I don’t want him to play Nole until Australia. He seemed to be mistiming the ball.

    At his presser he says he is happy with his performance and mentioned he bad call which to break Ferrer which could have given him the 2nd set. Anyway he said his goal is not to win AD but to progressively improve for Australia.

    Ricky, I’ll email you some picture because I don’t know how to upload pictures onto Tenngrand.

      • Rafa was asked whether he thought he would be the GOAT if he wins a few more slams and he said he thinks it’s unfair to determine the GOAT by how many slams they win because slams are only 4 times a year and there are many more things going on than slams. He said, jokingly, that he might think differently if he had more slams than anyone in tennis history.

        He said his GOAL is not to win AD but to be ready for OZ and that he was pleased with his performance even though he didn’t win.

  3. I kind of had a feeling that Rafa might lose this match. Ricky said that this court was playing very fast. I guess Rafa just needed to get on the court and play a bit. I think he has it all in perspective and his goal is clearly the 2014 AO.

3 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Rafa Roundup: December 27, 2013 | Rafael Nadal Fans
  2. Rafael Nadal in Abu Dhabi | rafanaticsph.com
  3. Rafa Wrap-Up: Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi | rafanaticsph.com

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