Murray Meets Nadal Friday At The Mubudala Abu Dhabi Exo
by Staff | January 1st, 2015, 3:02 pm
  • 45 Comments

Andy Murray will clash with Rafael Nadal Friday in an exhibition match at the Abu Dhabi invitational event. Today, Murray beat Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (7-1), 5-7, 6-4 to set up the match with his rival.

“I now get to play another two matches, which is perfect for me,” said Murray who will play a third place match if he loses his semifinal. “I’m looking forward to testing myself against Rafa. I practised with Rafa yesterday and he was very intense as always.”

Earlier Stan Wawrinka defeated Nicolas Almagro 6-3, 6-2. Wawrinka will play world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.

Lopez and Almagro were late replacements for the French duo of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils who both withdrew due to injury.


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45 Comments for Murray Meets Nadal Friday At The Mubudala Abu Dhabi Exo

jane Says:

lol, at different points of view. andy says nadal was “very intense as always” in practice and rafa says he will start “cautiously.”

i wonder if these exho matches are being televised/streamed anywhere. anyone know?


the DA Says:

@Jane – I’m pretty sure you can find it at the usual streams. I saw from my twitter TL that many were watching streams of today’s matches.


Okiegal Says:

@Jane……I watched a little of it on Livescore Hunter. It was a good stream……


jane Says:

thanks for the information the da and okiegal!


Okiegal Says:

@Jane……U R more than welcome……and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!


Margot Says:

@The DA
2 memorable points v Lopez
1) 2nd serve ace WTF?
2) Left handed running 4hand pass Eek!
Apart from that the usual: fab play, rubbish play, fab etc etc. Lopez was playing well tho., serving much better than A.
@jane
Watched on Drakula and got Eurosport. Andy’s future father in law was commentating, bizarre or what?


jane Says:

future father-in-law commentating, ha ha. :) thanks margot, will check that out. i’d like to catch these matches tomorrow. i know it’s exho, but nole/stan, rafa/andy is a good line-up nevertheless.


Okiegal Says:

@Margot……Thanks for that link, enjoyed the read.


Colin Says:

The thing that interests me most right now, is the possibility of Courteau joining the Murray team. He has said Andy would have to make him an offer he couldn’t refuse, and that might arouse Andy’s stubborn streak, but hopefully Mauresmo can persuade him, because it could be just what Andy needs – someone to help him technically (that 2nd serve!)


the DA Says:

@Margot – “2nd serve ace WTF?”

I know, right?. Actually I counted 3 2nd serve aces in total. :o It’s clear he has been doing come work on it. Apart from the shocking aces there was often more depth and spin. Still a work in progress but I’m glad he’s addressing the issue.


Daniel Says:

Nadal missing a few BH on the net.
Murray solid 3×0 and they just played a 7 min game where Nadal had 3 BP.

Nadal a bit tentativ but expected for his first match back and this being an exo.


Daniel Says:

6-2 Murray first set. would be great for him winning here and have a shot at Djokovic tomorrow if Djoko beats Wawrinka. Even though this is exo nothing better for Murray than getting a win here.


Daniel Says:

Wow, Murray just made an impossible passing shot to save BP. Amazing!!


the DA Says:

Rafa is rusty but you can see he’s getting close to his scary form. That said, Andy has played some brilliant tennis today – exo or not. His BH in particular has been on fire today. So many fabulous angles and hit with power.


Margot Says:

Andy Murray, you little beaut!
@ the DA
Looking close to pre-op form don’t u think? So good to see 1)back hand hit so strongly 2) 2nd serve improvement 2) so aggressive.
Good match for you lucky neutrals.


Okiegal Says:

@Margot

You’ve got to be proud of your guy today, he looked so good. Refused to be broken. He played some brilliant tennis……looking like his old self. He scared me with the shoulder thingy, but no problems…..I hope! All is not lost for me, my second fav won! Lol Rafa looked pretty sketchy out there today, but hey, Andy was scary good!! I know all the Andy Crew are pleased as punch with his performance…….2015 has started with a bang for him!!


Margot Says:

@OK
Thanx gal :)
Looked almost back to pre op form to me. Now…if only that first serve could be sorted.


Giles Says:

Now….. If only Andy can win the Trophy!


the DA Says:

@Margot – ‘Looking close to pre-op form don’t u think? ‘

Definitely. The movement is there. His BH was the thing that stood out today. He hit it hard and created lots of angles. He’s definitely working on the 2nd serve, that’s the reason for more DFs but I like the intent. And, contrary to last season, he SAVED all those BPs – I lots count, was it 6/7? Seemed like 10.

Anyway, time to sort a few things out before AO. Lots to be pleased about.


Colin Says:

Though I couldn’t contrive to watch this, I meant to follow the score, but then I forgot and went to the shops. I didn’t expect to see this result when I returned!

The reason I can’t watch is, when Google bought the streaming site Line Score Hunter, they promptly sold it to this damned betting site. I’ve never stepped inside a betting shop in my life, and understand none of the gambling jargon, so I’ve no idea how to go about betting. I case I ever find out, can someone tell me: if you bet on a certain player to win a tournament and he’s knocked out fair;y early, can you watch the rest of the tourny, or do you have to make another bet?


Okiegal Says:

Margot says…..”Looked almost back to pre op form”……I couldn’t agree more. I was thinking the exact same thing as I watched him today. DA so right about the angles! He was on fire today, what can I say??? Good for him. I certainly do hope he has the back thing behind him, and Rafa too! Also hope JMD can get his wrist back in good shape. Hate injuries……sigh….I’m ready for a slam bam thank ya’ ma’am!!!!


Margot Says:

@Colin
No betting on Drakula where I’ve been watching, you just seem to get eurosport. Very good stream too.
Also, I sometimes watch via Bet 365. You have to put £5, I think, into the kitty but thereafter there’s no pressure either to use it to place a bet, or to bet at all.
I never bet and my £5 is still intact after a year.


the DA Says:

Apparently Andy hurt his left shoulder during the match :o Says he’s never felt anything like it before and will get a scan tomorrow (double *gulp*). I suspect all those hard BHs tweaked something in his shoulder.

Injuries = STAY AWAY.

Anyway, here’s probably the rally of the match. Andy reaches an impossible get and turns it into a winner:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrfMcjxvZwc


Okiegal Says:

@Colin……You have other choices. I watched the entire match and didn’t make a bet. There are three sites in Spanish and three or so in English. British guys do the commentary. I’m referring to Live Score Hunter. I couldn’t get anything to work on Sportlemon, however. ESPN3.comtennis is the best one here in the states, but they weren’t carrying this exho.


RZ Says:

@DA – thanks for the link! That type of shot is becoming Murray’s specialty. He seems to do it more than the other guys.


RZ Says:

I know this is only a exo (and one that comes with a lot of cash for the players) but am debating with myself as to whether this was the best place for Rafa to make his return after his various ailments from last year. One the one hand, he gets to test himself against the top players to see where his game is; on the other hand he doesn’t get to ease back into the tour as he would by, say, playing Brisbane. What do you all think?


Margot Says:

@the DA
Bloody hell. One thing after another :(
No more injuries please!


Giles Says:

RZ. Rafa as you know is a creature of habit. He has always played Abu Dhabi apart from when he had to withdraw because of injury. He follows it up with Doha.


Brando Says:

Andy:

That was brilliant to see from Andy!

Powerful hitting, angled shots, and the BH used as a weapon not a defensive stroke.

More importantly:

He played with an excellent attitude and seemed to have a purpose on every shot.

This is the Murray I want to see and the one who won Slams.

Rafael:

I am pleased with this match.

It’s an exhibition but he and Andy played an aggressive, intense match.

That’s one solid match in the locker regardless of the result: and that too v a brilliant player like Andy.

As expected- acknowledged by both players and individuals with sense- Rafael was rusty and his game obviously is not going to be there for a while.

More than likely it shall take till USO swing in the spring for him to get his groove going.

That said: I liked his movement, passion, aggressive intent at times.

For a first match it was good to see he had some decent positives with lots to improve in a great match to experience early v a top, elite player.

Good luck to both going forward.


Brando Says:

@RZ:

His schedule is the correct one.

Rafa’s issue is a lack of matches and sharpness.

The only way- and best way- is to get matches under his belt and preferably against the best.

Even losing has it’s pluses since you got to challenge yourself against the best after a long while.

The only negative today was he cannot play one more match and that too v Novak:

Even a 6-0 6-0 thrashing would be fine v Novak since atleast you spent more court time with him.

So he’s doing the right thing:

Trying to get matches under his belt, preferably against the best, with the result not being an issue since he’s smart enough to know expecting wins is not really the main thing right now:

It’s about getting your game together.


jane Says:

if only it counted in the h2h! next time they play for points, i hope andy can win.


Giles Says:

I hope Andy thrashes joker tomorrow. Go Andy!!


jane Says:

brad gilbert tweeted this

‘I dominated a lot of points but couldn’t quite finish. I will improve.’ – rafa

is it true he dominated a lot of the poitns? with a score like 6-2, 6-0 it seems counter-intuitive.

dang, i wish i wouldn’t've slept through all the matches!


the DA Says:

@Jane – He did dominate a lot of points but Andy defended so well and Rafa’s finishing shot was misfiring, so those two factors contributed to the lopsided score. Andy faced – and defended – 12 BPs, so Rafa had many opportunities. You can see from the highlights of the match:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJAbgnan5kY


courbon Says:

I’m glad Andy won because at least we don’t get those ‘Vamos Rafa’ from Giles tomorrow…(-: Otherwise couldn’t care less about this tournament-exibition tournament, that’s all…


jane Says:

thanks for those the da! yeah i just read andy’s comments about playing a lot of “long games”. looks like maybe rafa put on a bit of weight? he was bludgeoning the ball! both seemed far behind the baseline at times, but andy was definitely getting a lot back. that one running shot up the line is great! :) but if andy’s going to come in more he can’t be so far back; from the highlights it looked like rafa came in more than andy?


the DA Says:

Yes, Rafa came in more – Andy came in more yesterday against Feli. Maybe he was intimidated by Rafa’s scorching passing abilities. But I did notice Andy standing nearer the baseline (unfortunately the highlights don’t reflect that) and when receiving 2nd serves he was a good foot inside. All a work in progress.


jane Says:

indeed; looking forward to seeing their next match.


Giles Says:

Whether Rafa wins or loses I will always be around saying VAMOS RAFA!
Go Andy!!
courbon :((((( Do you get the message?


courbon Says:

@ Giles:I get you man, I get you…By the way, you should watch movie with Robert de Niro called “FAN”.You remind me of De Niros caracter…good movie.


Margot Says:

Hi Courbon, good to see you back! I’m afraid when Rafa plays Stan I will be shouting “Vamos” too so you are gonna be deafened…..;)
Lol just hearing on news that 80% of Rome’s police officers called in sick on New Year’s Day!
Way to go!


jane Says:

indeed, welcome back courbon. hopefully aide is fine. ;)


jane Says:

argh, autocorrect. should be AJDE!


Wog Boy Says:

Frenchie, where have you been, did they let you out for Christmas on good behaviour bond? :)

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