Tennis: Murray Sees Off Nadal in Mubadala Semis

Rafael Nadal suffered straight sets defeat in the hands of Andy Murray in his first match since October when he called time on an injury-marred season early to undergo appendix surgery.

He No. 6-ranked Briton saw off the match-rusty Spaniard 6-2 6-0 in 1 hour and 28 minutes to set up Novak Djokovic in tomorrow’s final at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships- an exhibition tournament which does not count for ATP World Tour head-to-head, statistics or rankings.

“The main difference today was that Murray has played a lot more than me, he doesn’t stop!” Nadal said after the loss.

“Andy was just awesome today. Although 6-2, 6-0 wasn’t a true reflection [of the match]. … I dominated a lot of points but couldn’t finish. I will improve.”

Top seed Djokovic saw off Swiss No. 2 Stanislas Wawrinka 6-1 6-2 in the other semi-finals, which lasted just 57 minutes on Thursday.

Nadal- a 14-time Grand Slam champion- will defend his title at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha next week as he continues to gather match-fitness ahead of the Australian Open, which begins on Monday January 19.

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