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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 18 January 2019

Rafael Nadal suffers shock loss to Kevin Anderson in Mubadala World Tennis Championship semi-final

Defending champion Anderson reaches Saturday's final in Abu Dhabi with 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over world No 2

Kevin Anderson shocked Rafael Nadal to stay on track to retain his Mubadala World Tennis Championship on Friday night in Abu Dhabi.

The South African came back from losing the first set to to triumph 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 over the world No 2 at the International Tennis Stadium at Zayed Sports City.

The world No 6 will face either Novak Djokovic or Karen Khachanov in Saturday's final, with their semi-final due to start at 7.15pm on Friday.

The first set had come alive after six service holds was followed by three breaks in a row, two of which were for Nadal.

This put the four-time MWTC champion in the ascendancy and he sealed the set with a forehand smash.

But Anderson hit back and in the sixth game a brilliant forehand to the back of the court, which Nadal could only hit long, gave him the lone break of the second set to level the scores.

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Read more on MWTC 2018:

Day 2 guide and predictions: Novak Djokovic to beat Karen Khachanov

Novak Djokovic back in Abu Dhabi in a much better place after 'roller-coaster' 12 months

Karen Khachanov set for 'good fight' against Novak Djokovic

Venus Williams calls for more women's matches at MWTC after edging sister Serena in her first Abu Dhabi appearance

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The third set was a cagey affair with both players spurning break points.

But it was Anderson who made the breakthrough in the ninth game as Nadal tamely struck a shot past the baseline from the back of the court.

Anderson then served the match out to secure the win and a place in the final, while Nadal will now play in the third place play-off.

Earlier in the day, Hyeon Chung won the play-off for fifth place as the South Korean cruised past Dominic Thiem 6-2, 6-3.

Updated: December 28, 2018 08:45 PM

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