Djokovic illness hands Murray first win of season

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ABU DHABI: World number one Novak Djokovic withdrew from the final of the Mubadala World Tennis Championships in Abu Dhabi on Saturday handing Andy Murray his first title of the season.

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Serb Djokovic had dismissed Stan Wawrinka in the semi-finals of the exhibition event on Friday but the defending champion revealed on Saturday he was suffering from a fever.

Murray had himself complained of pain in his left shoulder during his 6-2, 6-0 win over Rafael Nadal in the last four.

The 27-year-old Scot said: “I don’t know exactly what happened. I’ve never had anything happen to my left shoulder before.

“It’s pretty sore and at the end of the match when I was reaching out to sign autographs it was quite painful.”

Murray is set to undergo a scan before continuing his build-up to the first Grand Slam of the season, the Australian Open, at the Hopman Cup in Perth next week.

He will join Heather Watson to represent Britain at the mixed team event, with their opening match due to be against France on Monday.

Speaking on Eurosport, Murray said: “It’s unfortunate that Novak wasn’t feeling well. It happens.

“I go over to Australia tonight to play my next event and hopefully I can keep it going.”

Nadal shrugged aside his defeat against Murray to beat Wawrinka 7-6 (7/1), 6-3 in the match for third place, in his first competition since undergoing an appendectomy at the start of November.

The Spaniard and Djokovic are both scheduled to open their official ATP season by playing in next week’s Doha tournament where Nadal is the defending champion.

AFP

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