Novak Djokovic closes the year with exhibition victory
Almagro wins opening set before match turns around
Novak Djokovic retained his title at the World Tennis Championship exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi on Saturday by rallying past Nicolas Almagro of Spain 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-4.
The top-ranked Serb swept past David Ferrer in straight sets to reach the final, but he got a tough test from the 11th-ranked Almagro.
Almagro, a late replacement at the tournament for Rafael Nadal, rallied from 3-1 down in the tiebreaker to take the first set.
"It is amazing, him coming here only a few days ago and having a late entrance to the tournament and performing this well yesterday and today," Djokovic said.
Djokovic broke to lead 3-1 in the second set on his way to evening the match. The third set was much tighter, with both players holding serve after eight games until Djokovic went up 5-4 and then broke Almagro to clinch the victory.
Both players had 12 aces, but Almagro was able to convert only one of six break points. He won just 34 percent of points on returns.