Spain’s Rafael Nadal receives his trophy from Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, after defeating Belgium’s David Goffin in the final match of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship 2016 in Abu Dhabi on December 31, 2016. PHOTO: NEZAR BALOUT / AFP
Rafael Nadal ended an injury-plagued 2016 on a high by lifting the Mubadala World Tennis Championship title for a fourth time on Saturday.
The 30-year-old Spaniard defeated 11th-ranked Belgian David Goffin 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) in their first meeting after world number one Andy Murray earlier ousted Canada’s Milos Raonic 6-3, 7-6 (8/6) to take third place.
Nadal’s 2016 campaign had been ruined by a wrist injury that forced him out of Roland Garros after the second round and saw him miss Wimbledon.
But he looked in form throughout the exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi, beating Czech Tomas Berdych in the quarter-final and Raonic in the semi-finals.
Wimbledon and Olympic champion Murray, who was knighted in the New Year Honours list, lost to Goffin in Friday’s semi-final, his first defeat in six meetings with the 11th-ranked Belgian.
Nadal will now head to Australia for the Brisbane International, with Goffin travelling to Doha for the Qatar Open.
Murray’s next stop is neighbouring Qatar for the opening week of the ATP season and two weeks out from the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of 2017.
In the match for fifth-place in the six-man field, France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Czech Thomas Berdych 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 10-3.