Nadal starts off season by claiming Mubadala Tennis Championship

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  • Success in Abu Dhabi: Rafael Nadal.

    Rafael Nadal called his Mubadala World Tennis Championship title victory on Saturday the “perfect way to start the new season” and rightfully so as he followed up his impressive win over David Ferrer in the semi-finals with a straight sets triumph over Milos Raonic on Saturday night.

    Keen to put a troubling 2015 behind him, Nadal insists he is only focused on the now after he picked up a third trophy in Abu Dhabi, thanks to a 7-6 (2), 6-3 rout of Canadian world No14 Raonic.

    After his win in the UAE capital, Nadal shut the door on all talk of his struggles last year as he explained he was never been one to dwell on the past, be it the highs or the lows.

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    “We don’t live about the past at the same time I’m not talking about the titles that I had in 2013 or 2010,” said the Spanish world No5.

    “I don’t want to talk about 2015 anymore. We are in 2016, I’ve talked enough about 2015 in the past year. I want to talk about today, and what’s going on tomorrow…

    “I think last year was a tough year for me in terms of the mental part, when I was able to fix my mental problems I started to play much better and I’m feeling good now. I feel ready for the action, ready for the competition and we’ll see if I’m able to keep doing that for the rest of the season.”

    On centre court on Saturday at Zayed Sports City, Nadal was facing the polar opposite of his opponent from the previous day. While he and Ferrer gave an incredible performance that featured every shot in the book and saw them exchange long intense rallies over three sets, Raonic presented a completely different challenge.

    The 196cm Canadian is renowned for his monster serve and massive-hitting and when he’s on, he can trouble the very best of them. But while Raonic was unbreakable in the opening set, neither was Nadal, who brought his A-game to the court and was just as solid on his own serve.

    A killer lob gave Nadal two break points in the fifth game but Raonic used his clutch serve to save both and the set understandably went to a tiebreak, which the Mallorcan took comfortably.

    In a 10-minute fourth game of the second set, Nadal finally claimed his first break of the match on his fourth chance to inch ahead 3-1 and that one break was all he needed to secure the win, sealing it with a brilliant forehand winner.

    Nadal hailed the tournament’s organisers for producing an event he insists the players do not take lightly.

    “You see out there how competitive was yesterday, how competitive was today, we tried our best,” assured the 29-year-old.

    “Just can say thank you very much to all the organisation, all the sponsors, especially Mubadala for supporting our sport and for supporting this event for so many years and I hope it can keep going for many more and I hope to be back. The tournament is very well-organised and for me it’s the perfect way to start the new season.”