After being comfortably beaten by David Ferrer, Rafael Nadal has rebounded and beaten Roger Federer 6-1, 7-5 in the Abu Dhabi exhibition championship. Nadal, nursing a shoulder injury, cruised comfortably as he raced to a 3-0 lead before taking the opening set in just 27 minutes.
Federer lifted his level after looking somewhat distracted at the break between sets. Despite getting a 4-3 lead Nadal managed to stay with the Swiss former world number one and leveled the second set at 5-5.
A blistering forehand winner from Nadal sealed the deal.
After the match Nadal explained that the reason he’s playing rather than resting his shoulder is because he didn’t get to practice as much in the “off” season because of his shoulder.
The Spaniard plans to take all of February off to rehabilitate himself and prepare for the clay courts, Wimbledon and the Olympics. He has already made his desire to defend his Gold Medal clear.
In his bid to seek small improvements at the top level Nadal has added a small amount of extra weight to the top of his racket to try and generate extra power.
“It’s a change that I consider will help me in the future but not immediately. Every change at the beginning is something new, and you go a little bit down before you go up.
We are trying to have a little bit more power with the racquet. Trying to find a little bit more winners. We believe that can help but when you are able just to practice for five, six days, that’s not enough.”
David Ferrer and Novak Djokovic will play off for the title before the boys all head over to Doha before heading to Melbourne for the Australian Open.