Rafael Nadal targets Mubadala World Tennis Championship for return to tennis

Spaniard has been out of action since August

Rafael Nadal has revealed he is targeting the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi for his return to tennis as the Spaniard continues to recover from a foot injury.

Nadal, 35, has been a frequent visitor to MWTC over the years and has used the December pre-season tournament at Zayed Sports City as part of his preparations for the new season and the Australian Open. The former world No 1 has won the tournament a record five times and is the defending champion after defeating Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas in the 2019 final.

After losing in the French Open semi-finals in June, Nadal underwent treatment on a foot injury and has since played just two matches, at the Washington Open in August.

"My plan is to play Abu Dhabi in December and then in a tournament before Australia and then the Australian Open. That's my goal," the 20-time Grand Slam champion said. "We're working hard to make it happen.

"The injury in my foot still needs to get a little better, but I'm already training almost an hour-and-a-half a day, so that's positive.

"I'm training, I'm feeling better. I'm back on the court."

The 2021 Mubadala World Tennis Championship takes place December 16-18. Two of the six players for the male tournament have already been confirmed, with Norway's world No 8 Casper Ruud and Canadian world No 19 Denis Shapovalov both set to make their debuts.

Meanwhile, the one-off women's match will be contested by US Open champion Emma Raducanu and Olympic gold medalist Belinda Bencic.

The 2022 Australian Open will begin on January 17.

Updated: November 2nd 2021, 6:54 AM
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