Djokovic wins Abu Dhabi title as Nadal sees off Federer
Novak Djokovic ended 2011 in the same vein in which he started the year, beating David Ferrer in straight sets to claim victory on his debut at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi.
The world No. 1 sailed past Ferrer 6-2 6-1 to snap up the $250,000 winner's cheque at the six-man exhibition event.
Djokovic, who was unconvincing in his opening win against Gael Monfils on Thursday, looked to be back to his best as he outclassed Roger Federer in the semi-finals.
And the Serb oozed confidence as he raced to a 3-0 love lead, and never looked in danger of surrendering his advantage, his serve impenetrable as he cruised to victory.
Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal avenged his thrashing at the hands of Roger Federer last month as he closed out 2011 with a victory. Playing in the third-fourth play-off match, Nadal sailed through the opening set before battling to a deserved 6-1 7-5 victory.
Federer, who ended the season on a high after amassing a 17-match winning streak, swept his rival aside en route to a record sixth title at the ATP World Tour Finals in London last month, but he was second best to the Spaniard in Abu Dhabi.
Nadal recently revealed he is nursing a shoulder injury and intends to take a month's break after the Australian Open, but he showed no signs of ailment as he raced to a 3-0 lead. Federer was left to rue a series of unforced errors as Nadal strolled through the opening set, but the Swiss put up greater resistance in the second.
Both players were handed a bye into the semi-finals at the six-man exhibition event, but fans were denied the final they craved as both Nadal and Federer were well beaten in their opening matches. Federer was outclassed by Djokovic, while Nadal was crushed in straight sets by fellow Spaniard Ferrer.
Federer threatened to force the match to a decider as he led on serve in the second set, but Nadal grabbed a late break, before serving out for the match.
"It was a positive match," Nadal said. "I played better than yesterday and that was the most important."
Federer, meanwhile, was quick to play down back-to-back defeats ahead of the 2012 season.
"It's about getting ready and feeling fine out there and enjoying a great atmosphere here and having the chance to play world class players," Federer said. "Trying a few things, see where you are at and see where the other guys are at."