x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

The six who will play for the fifth

A look at the players participating in the fifth Mubadala World Tennis Championships in Abu Dhabi.

David Ferrer won seven times in 2012 but is still looking for his first grand slam title.
David Ferrer won seven times in 2012 but is still looking for his first grand slam title.

Novak Djokovic

Country Serbia

Age 25

World ranking 1

Victories (majors) 34 (5)

2012 highlights Another stellar season. The Serb began the year with a third Australian Open victory and won six titles in all, three of them at ATP 1000 events. He is the defending Abu Dhabi champion.

Ahead to 2013 The Serb has fewer questions about his short-term future than any of the top players. Since the open era began in 1969, no player has won the Australia event three years in a row.


Andy Murray

Country Britain

Age 25

World ranking 3

Victories (majors) 24 (1)

2012 highlights Murray finally delivered on his considerable promise, winning the US Open by taking down Djokovic. After losing the Wimbledon final he won the Olympic gold by beating Roger Federer, and went on to claim his first major.

Ahead to 2013 It will be interesting to see whether Murray has been imbued with a sense of confidence that will allow him to stare down the likes of Djokovic, Federer and Rafael Nadal.


David Ferrer

Country Spain

Age 30

World ranking 5

Victories (majors) 18 (0)

2012 highlights The world No 4, above, won more matches than any other player in 2012 with a circuit-high seven ATP events.

Ahead to 2013 None of the players in the world top seven played more often last year than did Ferrer, who had 25 starts. He seems none the worse for wear and made the semi-finals in two slam events, matching his career total over his first nine seasons.


Tomas Berdych

Country Czech Republic

Age 27

World ranking 6

Victories (majors) 8 (0)

2012 highlights Berdych, above, won titles in France and Sweden last year and was a member of the Czech team that won the Davis Cup for the first time since the country split politically.

Ahead to 2013 To move up in the pecking order, he will have to beat elite competition. Of his eight titles, none have been won in finals against the players currently ahead of him in the rankings.


Janko Tipsarevic

Country Serbia

Age 28

World ranking 9

Victories (majors) 3 (0)

2012 highlights While he won once last year he has three victories in the past 14 months, rolling up a pair of wins in October, 2011. Made the finals at two other events this year.

Ahead to 2013 Tipsarevic has played with the best in the business at times, upsetting two players ranked No 1 and recording a total of 13 victories against top-10 players in all.


Nicolas Almagro

Country Spain

Age 27

World ranking 11

Victories (majors) 12 (0)

2012 highlights Almagro was his reliably steady self, winning two more events last year to bring his career total to a dozen on tour. Ranked No 9 in mid-2011.

Ahead to 2013 He is off to a promising start already as a substitute in the event. With the withdrawal of Nadal, Almagro moved into Nadal's bracket spot where he will play either Murray or Tipsarevic.


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