Madrid: Spain`s David Ferrer kicked off the new season with a convincing 7-5, 6-1 victory Thursday over Switzerland`s Stanislas Wawrinka at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, a hard-court exhibition event in Abu Dhabi.
Wawrinka grabbed a service break early on and then took a 5-3 lead, but the world No. 3 battled back to take the next four games and the first set 7-5.
Ferrer then stepped up his aggressiveness in the second set to race out to a 5-0 lead. Wawrinka managed to avoid the "bagel" but the Spaniard wrapped up the victory after an hour of play.
Next up for Ferrer in Friday`s semifinals of this Australian Open tune-up will be countryman and world No. 1 Rafael Nadal.
France`s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga then spoiled the return of Scottish world No. 4 Andy Murray, who missed the end of last season after undergoing back surgery in September.
Tsonga, who won 7-5, 6-3, went down an early service break in the second set but then reeled off four straight games en route to victory in just over an hour.
The 10th-ranked Frenchman will next take on world No. 2 Novak Djokovic of Serbia in Friday`s other semifinal.
The world`s top players are competing in the United Arab Emirates in preparation for next month`s Australian Open, the first Grand Slam event of the 2014 season.