Rafael Nadal takes first title of new year

RAFAEL Nadal won the Capitala World Tennis Championships with a 7-6, 7-5 victory over Sweden's Robin Soderling in Abu Dhabi.

Nadal took revenge for his loss to Soderling in the French Open last year in a hard-fought final.

The Spaniard won the first set in a tie-break and Soderling continued to put up a tough fight in the second as he came from 4-2 down to tie it 4-4. He held serve to survive a first time but not a second as Nadal wore down his resistance.

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Roger Federer bounced back from losing to Soderling on Saturday to dispatch David Ferrer 6-1, 7-5 and claim third place in the tournament.