World No 14 Kevin Anderson of South Africa overcame Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4 7-6 (0) in the final of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
The US Open finalist Anderson joins an elite group of players who have lifted the Mubadala World Tennis Championship crown in the past. Previous champions include Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic.
Agut, currently ranked world No 20, had previously defeated Anderson in their only other clash. In 2013, in Valencia, the Spaniard won in three sets.
Anderson started off on a high note with a service break at the start of the opening set and 1 hour and 40 minutes later he signed off with 7-0 sweep in the second-set tiebreak to win 6-4 7-6 (0).
There will be no time for New Year festivities as Anderson will be back in action on New Year’s Day at the ATP Maharashtra Open, in Pune, India, where he is the second seed. World No 6 Marin Cilic is the top seed.
Anderson’s will start playing in the last-16 round after he drew a bye in the Sunday’s opening round.
There are four top-50 players in the singles field including Agut, the third seed.
Anderson and Agut are in the same half of the draw and if they survive the last-16 and quarterfinal rounds there will be a rematch in the semifinals scheduled for Sunday.
Credit: Herman Gibbs