Kevin Anderson comes close to beating Djokovic in Mubadala final

Serbia's Novak Djokovic and South Africa’s Kevin Anderson pose at the end of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship 2018 in Abu Dhabi, on December 29, 2018. - Djokovic won a fourth Mubadala World Tennis Championship title, coming back from a set down to beat Kevin Anderson 4-6, 7-5, 7-5. (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP)

Serbia's Novak Djokovic and South Africa’s Kevin Anderson pose at the end of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship 2018 in Abu Dhabi, on December 29, 2018. - Djokovic won a fourth Mubadala World Tennis Championship title, coming back from a set down to beat Kevin Anderson 4-6, 7-5, 7-5. (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP)

The big South African took the first set in his title defence, but the Serb is back to playing power tennis.

World number one Novak Djokovic won a fourth Mubadala World Tennis Championship title on Saturday, coming back from a set down to beat Kevin Anderson 4-6, 7-5, 7-5.

Djokovic claimed victory on a fifth match point against his South African opponent who won the pre-season exhibition tournament in 2018.

The 31-year-old Djokovic previously claimed the three-day event in the UAE in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and has now matched Rafael Nadal’s record of four titles.

“I’m a bit tired. We weren’t expecting to play two hours and 30 minutes just before the start of the season,” said Djokovic who is building towards an assault on a possible seventh Australian Open title next month.

Wimbledon and US Open champion Djokovic now heads to neighbouring Doha where he will be top seed at the Qatar Open starting on Monday. He will take on Bosnia’s Damir Dzumhur in his tournament opener.

World number six Anderson is top seed for the Maharashtra Open in Pune, India.

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