Nadal takes to Facebook

2011-12-27 20:30

Madrid - Rafael Nadal left little doubt that he will board a plane for Abu Dhabi for Thursday's start of the rich exhibition with which he, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic will begin their 2012 season only a few weeks after ending 2011.

With speculation fading that a late-season shoulder injury will have any effect on the new campaign, Nadal told his Facebook page on Tuesday: "Practicing with Agustin Boje, Andoni Vivanco and Alex Andino at Manacor! Ready for Abu Dhabi, let's get started!"

He also included picture of himself and the boys on court at his hometown of Manacor on the island of Mallorca.

The Abu Dhabi event starts on Thursday and ends on Saturday, offering guarantees to the best on the world plus $250 000 to the winner.

Rumour had suggested that Nadal would skip Abu Dhabi due to his shoulder problem. But his uncle Toni Nadal told the Spanish sports paper AS that his nephew is ready to go.

"There was something in his left shoulder," said the senior Nadal. "He felt it just before going to London (for the November year-end championships won by Federer).

"In Sevilla (at the Davis Cup final) Rafael's shoulder was fine. But he had to play Saturday and Sunday so I think he had some tendinitis of the patella (bone). But it is not an issue now."

Nadal said that he and his nephew had worked during the brief off-season. "We didn't work on hitting or specific aspects of the game. We worked with the intention of recovering the intensity in the game - the key is to play well."

Toni Nadal said he will skip Abu Dhabi and Nadal's first ATP event next week in Doha before joining the team in Melbourne for the Australian Open from January 16.