Nadal, Djokovic Cash In This Week At Abu Dhabi Exo; Murray Back On Court
by Sean Randall | December 26th, 2013, 10:04 am

The 2014 season begins right where 2013 left off – with high-paying exo dough being paid to the game’s brightest stars. Yes, the rich do get richer. Those taking advantage of this special yearly Christmas bonus in Abu Dhabi include the last three Grand Slams champions – Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.

David Ferrer, Stan Wawrinka and JW Tsonga are also on hand in a supporting role, but to me the only real intrigue in Abu Dhabi is who actually got paid more, Nadal or Djokovic (I’ll guess Nadal by about $750K) and how Murray will hold up in his first matches since September.

Djokovic’s new coach Boris Becker is also there, but unless he says something of note (a good chance, right?) the matches themselves amount to “practice sets”.

But back to Murray.

Andy’s been practicing for about a month now following his back surgery. Assuming the back is OK, Andy will likely downplay his chances for the early part of the season, but if he hits the ball well this week then hopefully by Melbourne he’ll be back to his winning self. It’s wishful thinking after so much time off, I know.

As for the others, I’ll have a more detailed preview of the season ahead with my Top 10 picks this weekend.

Happy Holidays!

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22 Comments for Nadal, Djokovic Cash In This Week At Abu Dhabi Exo; Murray Back On Court

the DA Says:

Ferrer took care of Wawa with relative ease. All smiles. Now it’s Tsonga vs a relaxed (and smiling…gasp) Andy. Nervous anticipation to see how he fares.

Humble Rafa Says:

Seriously, some expecting parents can use the money. But I will take it. No problem.

Ben Pronin Says:

DA, where do you get the results from?

Rogerisclass Says:

Why is HR always Arrogant?

by the way, This EX pays a player a high fee most.

They get 100 million by one game.

the DA Says:

@ Ben – I’m watching it live.

WTF Says:

If they want to pay a lot of money for very little work, let them. The guys showing up to collect the cash will have done a cost benefits analysis. Yes the season is long, but is the amount of time on court they’re asking for trivial compared to the amount of cash on offer? In this case, it’s an efficient job. If it’s a good deal, why wouldn’t they do it? The risk of being worn down by exertion is minimal, the payout is very generous. You’d be stupid not to take it.

Ben Pronin Says:

I see Tsonga took out Murray. DA, how’d they look? And what was the Ferrer-Wawrinka score?

holdserve Says:

Sad that Murray lost. But to be expected I suppose.

Anyone who watched the match, pl let us know whether Murray seemed ok?

I am rooting for Rafa or Murray to win AO. Hope Murray falls on Novak’s side so Rafa and Andy can meet in the final. Then no matter who wins, I am the winner!!!!!

the DA Says:

Ferrer beat Wawa 7-5 6-1. Andy looked pretty good. He served great in the 1st set but he was mistiming shots – only to be expected. The court is fast so that doesn’t help if you’re rusty. Tsonga served great and was sharper. I don’t feel as pessimistic as I thought I would.

Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

I wasnt really expecting much on Andys 1st match back,as The DA said he was bound to be rusty anyway after so long away,ita all about match practice for Andy,just getting used to been back playing again.

courbon Says:

@ Ben Pronin: Maybe Becker will prove, pretty much, everyone wrong and be a great coach?

Bad Knee Rules Says:

Novak will be right: … be-success

Sivaji Says:

David Ferrer sweeps past Wawrinka by 7-5 6-1

the DA Says:

Damn! I missed Andy beating Wawa. Did anyone see the match? Margot? Right now Ferrer is really taking it to Rafa and leading by a set. These courts are fast. I think they’ll favor Tsonga later.

I know it’s just an exo but, oh tennis, I have missed you.

the DA Says:

Ferrer takes out Rafa in straight sets. Tsonga vs Djoko underway.

gonzalowski Says:

Thanks DA. Bien David! He’s not longer with Piles as trainer. Maybe Rafa doesn’t care avoiding a Christmas meeting with Djoko

Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Gonzalowski i dont think Rafa will loose much sleep over this match,its merely about getting some practice trying out new techniques,no point blowing a gasket and pushing oneself too much for the sake of an exho IMO.

okiegal Says:


I agree. I had my times mixed up. I thought he played the 5:00 match. Got up to watch it and was Novak and Tsonga instead. I was mad at myself for reading the schedule wrong…..did you see it and if so how did Rafa look? A rested David can pose some problems sometime. I don’t know how much fight really goes into these type of matches but I think the commentators said the winner would garner a quarter million….would that be right?
I would fight for that payoff!! LOL

Tennis X Hippy Chic Says:

Okiegal hi i didnt see it unfortunatly as the exhos arent on tv where i am,but i cant see Rafa going all out full throttle for matches that are really just practice sessions,i want him to save himself for the real stuff,Andy is the player id like to see getting a few matches under his belt been off the tour so long he must be rusty which is to be expected.

Okiegal Says:


I wasn’t televised but it was live streamed on live score Hunter. also live streams a lot of the tourneys. They are streaming the WTA at Brisbane now. I was so glad I found out about live streaming because I have been able to watch the majority of Rafa’s matches.

Regarding Andy, I see he won his second match. Hope things go well for him. I like that guy. I think he does good on court and off court interviews…..he’s got a good sense of humor…..a little dry wit about him. Hope he does well.

I guess the Aussie Opens first match for our favs will tell the tale! Looking forward to it.

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