Cape Town - World No 2 Rafael Nadal has confirmed he
will make his return from injury at next month's Mubadala World Tennis
Championship in Abu Dhabi.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion joins a star-studded field that
includes world No 1 Novak Djokovic, Kevin Anderson, Dominic Thiem and
Venus Williams for the December 27-29 exhibition event.
But it is the news that Nadal will return to action before the new year is out that will really get his fans buzzing.
The Spaniard was forced to pull out of the Paris Masters and the ATP
World Tour Finals in London because of an abdominal injury, and later
confirmed he would be using the time off to undergo ankle surgery.
But it seems his recovery has gone according to plan and he will be back in action in time for the Australian Open in January.
Nadal is a regular fixture in Abu Dhabi, and has won it four times.
"Abu Dhabi is one of my favourite places to play, the climate,
atmosphere and enthusiasm from the crowds at the Mubadala World Tennis
Championship provides the perfect start to the new season," he said.
"The tournament brings together players at the top of their game; we all relish playing in these extremely competitive matches."
John Lickrish, chief executive of Flash Entertainment, the event
organisers, said: "We're putting together an exciting line-up - one that
reiterates the growing prominence of the Mubadala World Tennis
Championship on the global tennis calendar. Nadal's return, alongside
the newly crowned No 1 Novak Djokovic, plus returning champ Kevin
Anderson, underlines the importance top players place on the event.
Welcoming Venus Williams for her debut in Abu Dhabi adds additional star
power; we're truly excited at the calibre of participants this year."