Skip to main content

No. 1 Djokovic retains Abu Dhabi title

updated 11:52 PM EST, Sat December 29, 2012
Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates winning the Mubadala World Tennis Championship for the second year in a row.
Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates winning the Mubadala World Tennis Championship for the second year in a row.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • World No. 1 Novak Djokovic beats Nicolas Almagro in final of Abu Dhabi exhibition
  • He will now head to Perth to play in Hopman Cup with fellow Serbian Ana Ivanovic
  • Mixed teams event began on Saturday, with Australia and South Africa winning
  • Germany's Andrea Petkovic in doubt for Australian Open after suffering knee injury

(CNN) -- Novak Djokovic began his Abu Dhabi title defense talking about donkey cheese, but he ended it with the perfect start to his preseason preparations.

The world No. 1 retained his title in the Middle East exhibition event on Saturday, beating 11th-ranked Nicolas Almagro in a three-set final that should have blown away any remaining rustiness following his demolition of another Spaniard, David Ferrer, in the semis.

Djokovic will now head to Australia for another warmup event, the mixed teams Hopman Cup, where he will line up with glamor girl Ana Ivanovic in Serbia's opening rubber against Italy's Andreas Seppi and Francesca Schiavone on Monday.

The 25-year-old on Thursday denied claims that he has bought the world's entire supply of donkey cheese for his restaurant business back home.

Funny: Open Court outtakes
Kim Clijsters retired from professional tennis for a second time at the U.S. Open in September 2012. The Belgian won four grand slam titles in a 15-year career which included a two-year break between 2007 and 2009.
Kim Clijsters retired from professional tennis for a second time at the U.S. Open in September 2012. The Belgian won four grand slam titles in a 15-year career which included a two-year break between 2007 and 2009.
Kim Clijsters' glittering career
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>>
Kim Clijsters\' glittering career Kim Clijsters' glittering career
Serena Williams ended a dominant second half of 2012 by winning the season-ending WTA Championships in Istanbul. It marked the end of a dramatic change in fortunes for the 31-year-old. Serena Williams ended a dominant second half of 2012 by winning the season-ending WTA Championships in Istanbul. It marked the end of a dramatic change in fortunes for the 31-year-old.
Turkish delight
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>>
French farce to golden glory French farce to golden glory

Read: Nadal ruled out of Australian Open

"I did not expect this story was going to get so much attention, and everywhere in the world too," he told the Gulf News ahead of his first match at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship.

"There is a certain farm in Serbia that produces it and, as I understand it, it is the only farm in the world to do so, which is very interesting.

"They came to our restaurant and offered co-operation, so that is all. We are now thinking and seeing what we can do with that, but it is not true that I already bought the whole supply."

Australian Open champion Djokovic had to fight hard against Almagro -- who was a late replacement for the ill Rafael Nadal.

He finally triumphed 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-4 in two hours and 35 minutes against the 27-year-old, who beat Serbian Janko Tipsarevic in another three-set match on Friday.

"Nico played an amazing game. He was hitting strong from the baseline and he wasn't giving me much time," Djokovic said.

"It was a close match and I am very satisfied with how I played. This is a top-level event and we all want to see where we are in readiness for the season. Hopefully I'll be back to defend my title."

World No. 9 Tipsarevic finished the six-man tournament in fourth place after losing 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 to fifth-ranked Ferrer in Saturday's playoff.

Novak Djokovic lifts the trophy at the 2012 ATP World Tour Finals after beating Roger Federer in a pulsating final. Novak Djokovic lifts the trophy at the 2012 ATP World Tour Finals after beating Roger Federer in a pulsating final.
Simply the best
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
>
>>
Global appeal helps tennis beat economic downturrn Global appeal helps tennis beat economic downturrn
Djokovic finishes season on top
Djokovic beats Federer in ATP final

The Hopman Cup began in Perth on Saturday, with Australia beating Germany 3-0 in Group A and Spain defeating South Africa 2-1 in Group B.

Australia's win was helped by a knee injury suffered by Germany's former world No. 9 Andrea Petkovic, who has slipped out of the top 100 after suffering a series of physical problems in 2012.

She led Australian 16-year-old Ashleigh Barty 6-4 in their singles match before retiring, and was then unable to play in the mixed doubles -- and is a major doubt for the season's opening grand slam in Melbourne next month.

In the opening men's match, Bernard Tomic beat veteran Tommy Haas 7-6 (8-6) 3-6 7-5.

Haas, ranked 31 places higher at 21st in the world, blew a 6-1 lead in the tiebreak and failed to serve out for victory at 5-4 ahead in the decider.

Kevin Anderson gave South Africa an early lead when he beat Fernando Verdasco in straight sets, but Anabel Medina Garrigues leveled the tie with victory over Chanelle Scheepers and the Spaniards then won the doubles 6-4 6-7 (3-7) 10-8.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:48 AM EDT, Thu September 11, 2014
French Tennis player Rene Lacoste, one of France's 'Four Musketeers' who won the Davis Cup in 1932, at Wimbledon. He is wearing his embroidered crocodile motif. Original Publication: People Disc - HH0434 (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
updated 2:36 AM EDT, Tue September 9, 2014
Marin Cilic follows in the footsteps of his coach Goran Ivanicevic by claiming a grand slam crown for Croatia, winning the U.S. Open.
updated 9:34 AM EDT, Sun September 14, 2014
Serena Williams of the US holds the US Open trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their US Open 2014 women's singles finals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center September 7, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
updated 9:21 AM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.
Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
Canada and tennis? Really? Yup. The North American tennis power balance is swinging away from the States.
updated 8:52 AM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
updated 7:02 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
updated 7:01 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
updated 9:14 PM EDT, Sun June 22, 2014
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
updated 3:46 AM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
updated 11:55 AM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
ADVERTISEMENT