#MWTC 2019 SF Rafael Nadal bt. Karen Khachanov 6-1 6-3
Final: Nadal v Tsitsipas
Rafael Nadal believes his quick turnaround from last season has given him the momentum to “keep going” after reaching the Mubadala World Tennis Championship final.
Nadal comfortably beat world No 17 Karen Khachanov 6-1, 6-3 in Friday’s second semi-final to set up a title showdown with world No 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas on Saturday. A win in the final would earn Nadal a record fifth MWTC title.
The world No 1 has not long completed his 2019 season having led Spain to the Davis Cup title at the end of November, and with this year’s MWTC moved to an earlier date, the Abu Dhabi tournament has come after a shorter rest than usual.
However, Nadal showed no ill-effects from his brief off-season and actually put his good performance down to the fact he has not had much time away from the court.
“I played a good level of tennis tonight, better than what I thought,” he said. “I was playing well at the end of the season, which was just 15 days ago when I was winning the Davis Cup.
“[The break] went quick. On one side it could be negative that we didn’t have a lot of time [to rest] but on the other hand, I finished the season playing well which helps me to keep going.
“I hope to have another good match tomorrow, have a good Christmas, keep working well and start the season in good shape and playing good tennis.”
Source: The National
Photos: MWTC; AFP; The National; EFE; Reuters