x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

First success for Federer in the capital

The world No 1 comprehensively overpowered David Ferrer in the third-place play-off of the Capitala World Tennis Championship.

ABU DHABI // Roger Federer comprehensively overpowered David Ferrer in the third-place play-off of the Capitala World Tennis Championship to claim his maiden win in the capital before confirming he will return to the Emirates next month to compete in the Dubai Tennis Championships. The world No 1 looked intent on avenging Friday's semi-final defeat to Robin Soderling and Ferrer yesterday found himself on the receiving end of some scintillating tennis as the Swiss took little more than an hour to run out 6-1, 7-5 winner. As he walked off court, the 15-time grand slam winner was met with a standing ovation from the 5,000-strong crowd at Zayed Sports City International Tennis Complex.

"It's my first win here and it was a good match," said Federer. "I thought I played really well, considering the windy conditions. At the start, I think the pace was troubling him, but he found his rhythm in the second set and the match got better as it wore on so I am happy to get a win here after all. "The most important thing is that I get match practice and against two different types of players: one baseliner and one very aggressive type of player, so I am very well prepared now."

The ATP season starts today in Brisbane - Doha hosts the Qatar ExxonMobil Open tomorrow - and Federer is well aware that he has a busy few months ahead of him, including a competitive trip to Dubai, where he spends three months of the year in training. "I play in Qatar next week, then I go straight to Australia to prepare over there. Then I will go to Dubai, then the States for Indian Wells and Miami, then I go to clay, then I go to hard courts, then we'll see each other again here in January," said Federer. The confirmation that he intends to compete in Dubai between February 22-27 will be a relief to organisers after the Swiss missed the event through injury last year because of recurring knee problems.