Murray hails perfect preparation after Mubadala World Tennis Championship triumph

Murray hails perfect preparation after Mubadala World Tennis Championship triumph
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Published January 4th, 2015 - 15:45 GMT via

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Murray poses with the trophy of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship
Murray poses with the trophy of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship

Andy Murray hailed his second Mubadala World Tennis Championship triumph as the perfect preparation for the 2015 season - despite final opponent Novak Djokovic withdrawing with fever on Saturday.

In contrast, Djokovic said he was ‘hugely disappointed’ to have had to miss the final, in a statement released just over two hours before the showdown at Zayed Sports City. Tennis Stadium.

Murray was similarly sad not to have tested himself against the world number one, but was pleased to have won both his games at the tournament and begin the new year in style.

“It’s been very good preparation at the start of the year,” said the Scot, who followed up a gruelling three-set win over Feliciano Lopez on Thursday with a 6-2, 6-0 thrashing of Rafael Nadal in Friday’s semi-final. “I played two high-quality matches and it would have been nice to have had a great test against Novak again. It’s always nice to win anything and it gives you a little bit of confidence.”

Murray, who was the inaugural winner of the Mubadala exhibition event in 2009, had raised fears after his win over Nadal that he might have been forced to pull out of the final due to a left shoulder injury.

However, the 27-year-old said an ultrasound scan on Saturday morning showed no damage and insisted he would be fine after a few days of rest and treatment.

But should Murray have played in the one-set exhibition match between fifth and sixth-place Nicolas Almagro and Feliciano Lopez held to replace the final, given that many people had come to see the Scot?

Tournament director Greg Sproule, Managing Director of IMG Middle East, said he and his fellow organisers had asked Murray not to play ‘out of respect’ to him.

He explained that it would have been ‘irresponsible’ to expect the two-time major champion to risk injuring his ‘delicate shoulder’ ahead of the first grand slam of 2015 this month - the Australian Open.

Sproule also said the tournament had been one of the ‘most successful’ ever, despite the Djokovic disappointment.

Earlier, the world number one said in a statement: “Unfortunately I am not to be able to play in the final in Abu Dhabi tonight. I’ve been sick today with a fever and I’m not fit to play.

“I said after my match last night [against Stanislas Wawrinka] that the crowds here have shown their love of tennis again this year and always inspire me to play my best, so I am hugely disappointed not to be able to play for them tonight.”

Djokovic, who had looked typically imperious in thrashing Wawrinka 6-1, 6-2 in just under an hour in Friday’s second semi-final and later told media that he felt he was ‘at the peak of my abilities’, added: “I’ve had another great weekend in Abu Dhabi, meeting fans and coaching young players, and played some great tennis against the best players in the world. I love being a part of this tournament and I’m really disappointed not be able to take my chance of winning the trophy here again.

“Congratulations to Andy, it’s a shame I couldn’t play him today but I’m sure we will meet again soon. Thank you to everyone for all of your support over the last few days, I’ll see you soon.”

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