Nadal, Federer Face Off to Start Tennis New Year in Abu Dhabi Finals
After meeting just once in about 18 months, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will play for a fourth time in 40 days tomorrow in the Abu Dhabi exhibition.
Earlier today in the semifinals of the money-rich exo, Federer topped Robin Soderling 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-3 and in a US Open rematch Nadal beat Berdych 6-4, 6-4. So in the Saturday New Year final it’s Federer v. Nadal, once again.
“It is extremely hard to do all the right things and not taking many chances in the big tournaments,” Federer said to the Gulf News. “So this is an opportunity for me to try out some different things and go after my shots and just play a bit more relaxed and get a clear picture of really what I’m trying to do.”
“It is always special to play Roger who is probably the best player in history of the sport,” Nadal told the paper. “For me it is a big challenge and I hope it is a good match and the people enjoy it.”
And similar to the previous two charity matches the two legends played last week, this too is an exhibition, although I don’t have a sense of who’ll take the win tomorrow (Nadal). And really, the outcome is virtually meaningless – the match equates to practice sets, really. But it is a nice way to start the 2011 tennis calendar. Let’s just hope no one gets hurt!
The match is scheduled (I believe) for noon local time. The winner takes home an extra 250K on top of whatever appearance money received.
As for TV coverage, Tennis Channel was recently showing a rerun of the 2010 event, so I can only assume they’ll broadcast this year’s matches on tape later in January.
I’ll have a full preview of new season this weekend. Have a good New Year!
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