Federer loses to Nadal in first match of 2011

Federer couldn't quite get past Nadal in Abu Dhabi Keystone

Top-ranked Rafael Nadal has beaten Swiss star Roger Federer in the final of the World Tennis Championships, an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi.

This content was published on January 1, 2011 - 16:59 and agencies

Nadal, the defending champion, won 7-6, 7-6 in what had been billed a dream match in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday.

The Spaniard trailed 3-0 in the first tiebreaker but was helped by several unforced errors from the number two Swiss, including a forehand long on set point.

The second set went with serve until the tiebreaker, where Nadal hit a crosscourt forehand winner to go up 6-3 before Federer hit a shot long to give Nadal the victory.

"Rafael and myself must have played so many times and so many times it has come down to a few shots here and there," Federer said. "He is an amazing shot-maker. Me as well but today he got the better of me."

Last month the friends and rivals met at two exhibition showdowns in Zurich and Madrid, which were played for charity. Each won on their home turf and Federer raised SFr2.5 million ($2.62 million) for his foundation that helps children in Africa.

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