29 Dec 2013

Rafael Nadal opens season with a loss

11:38 am on 29 December 2013

The world's number one tennis player Rafael Nadal has opened his season with a 6-4 6-4 loss to fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in the semi-finals the annual exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi.

It was the world number one's first match since losing in straight sets to Novak Djokovic in the final of the World Tour Finals in London last month.

Playing ahead of the official ATP season-opener in nearby Doha next week, Ferrer looked the sharper from the start, breaking in the ninth game to take the first set.

In the second semi-final world number two Djokovic defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 7-6 6-3.

In earlier action, Andy Murray chalked up his first win since returning to action after a three-month injury lay-off, the Scot defeating Switzerland's Wawrinka 6-3 6-4 in the match to decide who would finish fifth