Russian Andrey Rublev closed 2021 with the victory in the exhibition tournament Mubadala World Tennis Championship after winning without setbacks in the final against Briton Andy Murray 6-4, 7-6 (2).
The Muscovite rounded off his good season in a good way. After the triumph with Russia in the Davis Cup played a few days ago in Madrid, he achieved his first success in Abu Dhabi, a traditional event in the tennis farewell each year.
The fifth player in the world proved that Murray, who beat Rafael Nadal in the semifinals, although he advances, he’s not yet close to being the player he was. It took him an hour and 36 minutes to win and inscribe his name in the history of the competition that the British won twice: in 2009, the first edition, and in 2014.
Andy Murray couldn’t keep up with the Russian, who in addition to Davis and Abu Dhabi, he increased his record with the Rotterdam title in this 2021. The Muscovite who stayed behind at the Masters 1000 in Cincinnati and Monte Carlo and in the Halle tournament, where he was a finalist, has accumulated eight trophies in his career.
Rublev is still far from the service record that adorns Murray, now out of the world’s top hundred but who rose to number one in 2016. The Scotsman does not win a competition from Antwerp in 2019 but in his history, among his forty-six merits, three Grand Slam and two Olympic gold medals stand out.
Murray has evolved since he announced his retirement in January 2019 due to a hip injury that underwent surgery twice.. It was not enough to prevail over a top 5 for the Briton who lives with a metal prosthesis and who has shown a certain progression, especially in the middle of the season that ends, with the quarterfinals in Stockholm and Metz, his ceiling in the 2021.
And that Murray clung to the track especially in the second set. He recovered after a poor start against a solvent opponent who broke his opponent’s serve in the fifth game to accelerate the conquest of the sleeve.
It seemed like a ride for the Russian who tends to loosen up in the second sets. Especially if you consider the task as easy. It happened again. With the game on track and after a new break in the first game of the second he relaxed. Murray did not and managed to take the Russian’s service for the first time in the duel in the eighth set that he equalized and led to the ‘tie break’, where Rublev sentenced the match.
It was the Russian’s second win over the British in three games played.. The previous one was months ago, in Rotterdam. Murray won the first they met, at the 2017 Australian Open, when he was enjoying his prime.