Tennis fans have been anxiously awaiting word from Rafael Nadal’s camp as to when we can expect to see him back in competition. For some time, the news was that there was no timetable for his return and that even his attendance at the Australain Open in January 2013 was in doubt.
This week there was good news from Nadal as we learned that he would be playing at an exhibition tournament in December 2012.
Organizers of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship said on Tuesday in a statement that Nadal is set to join a field including Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and David Ferrer. The tournament runs from December 27-29.
The Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi is a singles-only, professional tennis exhibition tournament where six players compete for the title. It is played on outdoor hard courts and has been held annually since 2009 at the Abu Dhabi International Tennis Complex, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
This year the six competitors are Djokovic, Murray, Ferrer, Tipsarevic, Berdych and Nadal.
The Spaniard is set to join a high-profile field including Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray for the three-day Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi which gets underway on December 27.
This will be the first time that Rafael Nadal has competed since June.
The current world No. 4 and former top-ranked star hasn’t played since suffering a shocking defeat at the hands of unheralded Czech Lukas Rosol in the second round at Wimbledon this past summer. The Spanish great has been sidelined with a partial tear of the patella tendon in his left knee.
This is the third time that Rafa has had to make a come back to tennis after a serious injury. In each case, he struggled a bit at the beginning and hit his stride when he began playing on clay.
What’s also noticeable is that it took Nadal longer in 2009-10, when he suffered other injuries along the way, to get all the way back than it was in 2006. But in both cases, it was clay, specifically Monte Carlo clay, that did the trick. That’s his starting point, the event he has won eight straight times. It’s what has always propelled him through the core of the season, from May clay to June grass to September DecoTurf. If Rafa is smart, he’ll focus on that core in the future and minimize his hard-court play.
Read Can Rafa Be Rafa Again
Fans of tennis will be excited to see Rafael Nadal back on the court. We all want to see him do well and get into the fray with the top players. With Andy Murray and Roger Federer’s resurgence in 2012 and Novak Djokovic’s consistent brilliance, Rafa will once again add much drama to the men’s game.