ANDY Murray picked up his first trophy of the season without having to play a match after Novak Djokovic withdrew ahead of their final in Abu Dhabi because of illness.
The world No.1 had looked in fine nick in brushing aside Stan Wawrinka in the semi-finals of the exhibition Mubadala World Tennis Championship on Friday.
But the defending champion revealed yesterday he has been suffering from a fever and handed the title to Murray.
Djokovic’s withdrawal denied the Scot the chance to follow his thrashing of Rafael Nadal in the last four with another confidence-boosting win over one of his biggest rivals.
But it may also prove to be a blessing for Murray, who felt pain in his left shoulder during his 6-2 6-0 victory over Nadal.
Speaking to reporters at the tournament, the 27-year-old Scot said: “I don’t know exactly what happened. I’ve never had anything happen to my left shoulder before.
“It’s pretty sore and at the end of the match when I was reaching out to sign autographs it was quite painful.
“I’m going to have an ultrasound scan to check and see if there’s anything there or not then I’ll see what happens after that.”
Provided the scan does not show anything untoward, Murray will continue his build-up to the Australian Open at the Hopman Cup in Perth next week. Murray will join Heather Watson to represent Great Britain at the mixed team event, with their opening match due to be against France tomorrow.
Murray took to the court yesterday afternoon to collect his trophy and confirmed he is planning to play in the Hopman Cup.
Speaking on Eurosport, the Scot said: “It’s unfortunate that Novak wasn’t feeling well. It happens.
“I go over to Australia tonight to play my next event and hopefully I can keep it going.”
Nadal secured his first victory of the season by beating Wawrinka 7-6 (7/1) 6-3 to claim third place.
The world No.3 looked understandably rusty against Murray having not played a match since before undergoing an appendectomy at the start of November.
This was a sharper performance and Nadal will have more opportunities to tune up for the year’s first grand slam when he defends his title at the Qatar Open in Doha next week.