Rublev eases past Murray to win Abu Dhabi exhibition event | Tennis News – Times of India

World number five Andrey Rublev outclassed Andy Murray 6-4, 7-6(2) in the World Tennis Championship exhibition event final in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
Both players held their opening two service games but Rublev edged ahead when he broke Murray in the fifth game after a series of fiercely-fought rallies from the back of the court.
The 24-year-old Russian ran Murray ragged with his powerful groundstrokes but the Briton managed to hold on before Rublev’s pressure paid off and he took the set with a stunning forehand down the line.
The 34-year-old Murray, a former world number one and three-times Grand Slam champion, got off to a poor start in the second set when he lost serve in the first game before fighting back to force a tiebreaker which Rublev dominated to clinch victory.
“I got three good matches here… Andrey played really well today. He’s got a really big game… I just need to find a way to turn some of these matches against these top players around,” said Murray.
Earlier, 20-times major winner Rafael Nadal fell to a second consecutive defeat on his comeback from a foot injury when he lost 6-7(4), 6-3, 10-6 to Canada’s Denis Shapovalov in the match to decide third place.
Spaniard Nadal, making his first tournament appearance since the Washington Open in August, edged a close tiebreak in the opening set but struggled with his timing as Shapovalov found his range and closed out the win.

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