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Nadal set for winning return in Abu Dhabi
Eleven-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal will make his long-awaited return to tennis at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi later this month and the Spaniard has made his intentions perfectly clear, he is in top shape and expects to make is return to the game a winning one.
The MWTC will be Nadal’s first event after six-months out with a knee injury and many expected him to perhaps use it as a warm up, however according to Nadal this wont be the case. The Rafa Nadal the tennis world has been deprived of in recent times is in the Emirate, and expect to see what we are familiar with, his desire to play every point as though his life depends on it, a competitiveness unmatched in the sport.
Speaking ahead of the Championship, Nadal said: “After this long period away from competition with all these months of rehabilitation and now hard practice, I am excited to see the moment to play again is close.
“Every time I play, I give my 100% and try to win and it will be no different in Abu Dhabi.
“Obviously coming back from injury will be tough but the Mubadala World Tennis Championship is exactly the test I need for my game and my fitness. I can’t wait to get back on centre court.”
It will be Nadal’s first tournament since his shock second-round defeat by Lukas Rosol at the Wimbledon Championship, and the seven-time French Open will be in good company.
World No1 and defending Mubadala champion Novak Djokovic, US Open and Olympic champion Andy Murray, world no5 David Ferrer, world no6 Tomas Berdych and world no9 Janko Tipsarevic will all be vying with Nadal for the title.
Nadal, who is a two-time Mubadala champion, will take on the winner of Murray’s clash with Tipsarevic in front of what is expected to be a sell-out crowd at the Abu Dhabi International Tennis Complex.
Nadal added: “Abu Dhabi has been the perfect place to begin the year so I can’t wait to get back. Being in a tournament setting while getting match fitness against some tough competition in good weather can only help me move forward as I look at the rest of the season.
“I’ve missed playing and I’ve missed the fans but I know I’ll get a really warm welcome in Abu Dhabi.”
The tournament takes place from the 27th-29th of December.