Nadal to Play Exhibition Tournament in Abu Dhabi

Rafael Nadal is planning to return to the tennis courts in the next few weeks…

Following a six-month break to recover from a knee injury, the 26-year-old Spanish tennis star says he’ll play in an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi at the end of the month.

Rafael Nadal

“Can’t wait to get back on court in Abu Dhabi at the end of the month,” the 11-time Grand Slam champion said on his Facebook page and Twitter account. “I won the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in 2010 and 2011 — would love to get my hands on the trophy again this year!”

Nadal began practicing on a court in his hometown of Manacor last month under the supervision of his uncle and coach Tony Nadal and a physiotherapist.

The Abu Dhabi tournament starts December 27 and will feature a six-man field that includes top-ranked Novak Djokovic and No. 3 Andy Murray.

While Nadal had long been scheduled to play in the event, he was cautious in a radio interview last week about how quickly he could return to full fitness after such a long layoff. Nadal has not played since a shocking second-round loss to 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon in June due to the partial tear of a tendon in his left knee.

The injury denied Nadal an opportunity to defend the Olympic singles gold at the 2012 London Games and forced him to pull out of the U.S. Open and Spain’s Davis Cup final against the Czech Republic.

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