Nadal beats Federer in Abu Dhabi

Rafael Nadal poses with the trophy after he beat Roger Federer on Saturday in Abu Dhabi. (AP)

Top-ranked Rafael Nadal beat Roger Federer 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3) to defend his title at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships exhibition tournament on Saturday.

Nadal came back from 3-0 in the first tiebreaker to win the set helped by several unforced errors from the No. 2 Swiss, including a backhand that went wide and then a forehand long that gave the Spaniard the lead.

The second set was just as tight, with neither player able to break the other. Nadal used his much-improved served and his athleticism to gain the edge. He hit a cross court winner to go up 6-3 and then Federer hit a shot long to give Nadal the victory.

Last month, the two split charity matches with Nadal winning in Spain and Federer prevailing in Switzerland.

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