Rafael Nadal will return to Abu Dhabi after missing the exhibition in 2012. (Carlos M. Saavedra/SI)
Rafael Nadal is showing no signs of curtailing his schedule after a heavy, but very successful, 2013 season. The No. 2 has confirmed he will join Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, a three-day event which starts on December 26th.
Nadal has won the tournament in 2009 and January 2011, but had to withdraw from the event in 2012 after a viral illness derailed his pre-season preparation and forced him to delay his comeback until after the Australian Open. Since returning to the tour in February after a seven-month break, Nadal has made the final in 12 of the 13 tournaments he's played and won 10 titles, including the French Open and U.S. Open.
"I’ve been working hard all season and to have won two Grand Slams this year is an amazing feeling. I’m playing good tennis and I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of the season will bring," Nadal said. "After the disappointment of last year, I promised my fans in the UAE I would return, so I’m very happy it’s happening so soon and I’m back in the player line-up. This will be my fifth time playing in Abu Dhabi and I’m looking forward to getting back on court there later this year. It’s a great opportunity to test myself, especially just before the start of the new season.
“I’m sure I’ll face some tough competition but I’m hoping to take the title for a third time and play some great tennis for the Abu Dhabi fans in the process. The atmosphere is always fantastic and will be counting on the crowd’s support to help me win again this year.”