South Africa’s Kevin Anderson became the first man other than Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal to win the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in what is the tournament’s 10th anniversary.
Anderson, 31, scored an impressive 6-4, 7-6(0) victory over Spain’s Roberto Bautista-Agut under the lights at Zayed Sports City, today, Saturday.
The South African had earlier beaten Pablo Carreno Busta and Dominic Thiem on his way to victory on his second appearance at the event.
“I’ve played three very good matches here this week and I thought the final was of high-quality. Both of us are really looking forward to the start of the season and it’s such a great opportunity to come here to Abu Dhabi,” Anderson, the 2017 US Open finalist, said during his on-court interview.
“Everybody competed really hard, it’s a terrific atmosphere so hopefully I’ll be able to come back more times in the future. I see that there were lots of South Africans in the crowd supporting me all week, and it’s fantastic to see tennis thriving in this part of the world,” he added.
Bautista Agut was also in a positive mood. Speaking after the match, he said, “I’ve had some great support here, I really enjoyed playing on this court so thanks a lot to everyone over these three days. It’s a really good event to come and play and I’ve had a good experience here. It’s important to play strong matches going into 2018 and I’m very happy to play the final.”
Both players will now travel to India to play the first official tournament of the new season in Pune as the second and third seeds.