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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 June 2018

Kevin Anderson powers his way through to Mubadala World Tennis Championship final

Waiting for him in Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut who was given a walkover after Novak Djokovic withdrew before their semi-final match

South Africa's Kevin Anderson returns the ball to Austria's Dominic Thiem during their semi-final match at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi. Anderson won 7-6, 6-4. Kamran Jebreili / AP Photo
South Africa's Kevin Anderson returns the ball to Austria's Dominic Thiem during their semi-final match at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi. Anderson won 7-6, 6-4. Kamran Jebreili / AP Photo

Kevin Anderson will meet Roberto Bautista Agut in Saturday's Mubadala World Tennis Championship final.

The South African defeated world No 5 Dominic Thiem in straight sets 7-6, 6-4 in their semi-final at the International Tennis Stadium at Zayed Sports City.

Bautista Agut had earlier been given a walkover to the final after 12-time major winner Novak Djokovic withdrew from the tournament to allow more rehabilitation on the elbow injury that has sidelined him for the past six months.

Before Friday's quarter-final Anderson boasted a 100 per cent record over Thiem in ATP Tour matches with six wins from six matches.

The world No 14 once again got the better of the Austrian here, with his big serve once again proving a potent weapon with 15 aces.

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The first set went to a tie-break after both men had exchanged breaks. The first 13 points all went with the server as both men mixed power with accuracy on their serve.

The set ended rather anti-climactically, however, as Thiem double faulted to give Anderson the tie-break 8-6.

Anderson then broke at the start of the second set to take charge of the match.

He survived moments of pressure from Thiem, holding off a break in the second game and then being 0-30 down in the eighth game, but his serve continued to get him out of tight spots.

Whatever the outcome of Saturday's final the MWTC will have a new name on the winner's trophy and a fourth champion overall after Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Djokovic.

The final starts at 7pm.