The final Nadal – Tsitsipas was the best hero in the history of the tournament, between two rival periods that lasted up to three hours and 15 minutes.
His extensive experience helps Nadal escape in some crucial scoring situations. Tsitsipas is youthful and mentally comfortable, especially after defeating Djokovic in the semi-finals.
In the first set, the number one player in the world had to try to save consecutive break-points to face when holding the serve. Nadal neutralized up to five opportunities in just three games at the start of the match, while the young Greek talent has not faced a similar risk.
Waste too many opportunities, Tsitsipas pay the price. The forehand scored the winner in the ninth game that helped Nadal win the serve to lead 5-4.
However, the Spanish player unexpectedly missed two chances with a set-point in the next game when he broke the decisive backhand. Thanks to that, Tsitsipas won that game, then pulled the opponent into the first tie-break series.
The 21-year-old took the first advantage in the series of brain balances and continued his excitement to close the first set of 65-minute wins, after Nadal’s nimble shot.
In the next set, in a situation where there is no more room for mistakes, Nadal used the only chance to win the last game with a volley winner, dragging Tsitsipas to the deciding set.
Nadal 2-1 Tsitsipas
Two players each won a game of serving the opponent, before putting each other into the second tie-break series in the final. But this time, the dominant one was Nadal, and he scored four late game points to end one of the most exciting and dramatic matches in 2019.
Won the fifth title in the 12th season of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, Nadal surpassed Djokovic – who has four titles – to become the most successful tennis player in the tournament. Nadal was crowned here in 2010, 2011, twice in 2016 (January and December), and the latest is 2019.