Mubadala World Tennis Championship 2016
by MAC

It's very tempting to put Championship in inverted commas since this is an exhibition event with no ranking points. However, the effort put into the matches is way above the hit and grin standard of most exhibitions.

There were six players in all. Rafa and Stan Wawrinka got byes through to the semi finals while the other four (David Ferrer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Milos Raonic and Kevin Anderson) competed to determine who would join them.

Rafa's semi final opponent was David Ferrer.

It was a typically hard fought match which Rafa won, 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-3.

Here are the highlights.

In the final he played Milos Raonic. It's always tough to play a big server on a hard court so it was no surprise that the first set went to a tiebreak. Rafa won that easily and then managed to break serve in the second to win the match in straight sets, 7-6 (2), 6-3.

Here are the highlights.

"It is a great feeling to capture the title here in order to start the new season. I am happy for playing at a high level of tennis. I tried hard every year but this time I had already felt to arrive in good shape and it worked out in the end. I just played well. That was the key to success today."

Here's the trophy ceremony

So we got what will, hopefully, be just the first of Rafa's trophy bites of the year.

Rafael Nadal
Screencap by MAC

Enhorabuena, Rafa