ABU DHABI-Rafael Nadal ended an injury-plagued 2016 on a high by lifting the Mubadala World Tennis Championship title for a fourth time on Saturday.

The 30-year-old Spaniard defeated 11th-ranked Belgian David Goffin 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) in their first meeting after world number one Andy Murray earlier ousted Canada's Milos Raonic 6-3, 7-6 (8/6) to take third place.

Nadal's 2016 campaign had been ruined by a wrist injury that forced him out of Roland Garros after the second round and saw him miss Wimbledon. But he looked in form throughout the exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi, beating Czech Tomas Berdych in the quarter-final and Raonic in the semi-finals.

Wimbledon and Olympic champion Murray, who was knighted in the New Year Honours list, lost to Goffin in Friday's semi-final, his first defeat in six meetings with the 11th-ranked Belgian. Nadal will now head to Australia for the Brisbane International, with Goffin travelling to Doha for the Qatar Open.

Murray's next stop is neighbouring Qatar for the opening week of the ATP season and two weeks out from the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of 2017. In the match for fifth-place in the six-man field, France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Czech Thomas Berdych 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 10-3.

Earlier Murray shrugged off his surprise defeat to David Goffin in the semi-finals of the Mubadala World Tennis Championships on Friday. Wimbledon and Olympic champion Murray, who had won all five of his previous meetings with the 11th-ranked Belgian, was beaten 7-6 (7/4), 6-4.

"I was striking the ball well. It was a pretty high-quality match for the first match in the year after a break so it was good, just a bit unfortunate in the end," Murray told The National newspaper. "I find it great preparation for the new year. You're practicing and playing matches against some of the best players in the world. So it's a great way to start the year, get into a good rhythm. It sharpens you up and I'm happy to be back."

Goffin, meanwhile, said he was pleased to have finally defeated Murray for the first time. "I served really well and that was key to staying in the match," said 26-year-old Goffin. "Andy returns so well, puts the pressure on you so that makes it tough to serve well all the match. I maintained my level with the serve, felt really good on the baseline and came to the net when I needed to."

Nadal downed Canada's Milos Raonic, the world number three, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 in his semi-final. Nadal, 30, defeated Raonic for the seventh time in eight career meetings. "It's great to be back on court after a time without matches," said Spanish great Nadal, a former world number one who is now down at nine in the rankings. "To beat two great players (Tomas Berdych on Thursday and Raonic on Friday) is great news for me."

In the match for fifth-place in the six-man field, France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Czech Thomas Berdych 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 10-3.

 

 

Spain's Rafael Nadal poses with the winners trophy next to Belgium's David Goffin after their final match of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship.–AFP