x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Nadal a winner in Abu Dhabi but Dubai loses out

Rafael Nadal wins the Capitala World Tennis Championship before revealing he will skip next month's Dubai Tennis Championship in a bid to dominate the ATP Tour.

Rafael Nadal holds the trophy aloft after winning the final against Robin Soderling at the Capitala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi.
Rafael Nadal holds the trophy aloft after winning the final against Robin Soderling at the Capitala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi.

ABU DHABI // Rafael Nadal won his first title of 2010 last night before revealing he will skip next month's Dubai Tennis Championship in a bid to dominate throughout the ATP Tour's extensive season. The Spaniard overpowered Sweden's Robin Soderling 7-6 (7-3), 7-5 at Zayed Sports City International Tennis Complex to claim the second annual Capitala World Tennis Championship.

But having seen his progress last season hampered by recurring knee problems, the world No 2 insists only poor results in Doha next week and the Australian Open, which starts on January 18, will coax him to compete at Dubai's Aviation Club next month. "No, I don't think so," said the six-time grand slam winner when asked if he would return to the UAE later this month. "It depends if I have many bad results in Doha, Australia and Rotterdam, then maybe. But right now it's not on my calendar.

"I didn't stop for the end of the season, I only practised for two and a half weeks. I hope to have good tournaments in Doha, Australia and Rotterdam and then have three weeks off because I have to rest a little bit too and prepare to play the American season and clay season because after there is no chance to stop." Injury forced Nadal to miss the chance to defend his Wimbledon title last year and with Roger Federer claiming his record 15th grand slam at the All England club, the 23-year-old consequently lost the world No 1 ranking to his rival - a position he is yet to reclaim.

There was some good news for the Dubai tournament, however. The world No 1 from Switzerland, Roger Federer, revealed after beating Spain's David Ferrer 6-1, 7-5 in the third-place play-off that he would definitely compete at the championship which takes place between February 22-27. gmeenaghan@thenational.ae