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Andy Murray beats Rafael Nadal to reach final of Abu Dhabi exhibition

ANDY MURRAY overcame his old rival Rafael Nadal in straight sets in the semi-finals of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi.

The 34-year-old Murray triumphed 6-3 7-5 in what was the first meeting between the pair since the Madrid Masters semi-final in 2016.

It also marked the Spaniard’s first match since he decided to prematurely curtail his 2021 season four months ago due to a foot injury.

Murray said on court: “Me and Rafa have played so many tough matches over the years.

“Both of us have gone through injury troubles and it’s just great to have the opportunity to be with him on court again.”

It was another positive performance from Murray following his win over fellow Briton Dan Evans in the previous round.

Murray broke Nadal in his third service game to wrest the advantage in the first set, and took the crucial break at 5-5 in an entertaining second to close out victory.

Nadal said: “For me, this is a comeback. It wasn’t a bad match for me after a long time (away from) a professional court, so positive feelings.”

Murray will face Andrey Rublev in the final after the Russian beat Canadian Denis Shapovalov 7-6 (5) 3-6 6-4.

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