Nicolas Almagro to replace Rafael Nadal in Abu Dhabi

The world number 11 will take the place of his sick countryman at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship - and face either Andy Murray and Janko Tipsarevic on Friday.

World number 11 Nicolas Almagro will replace Rafael Nadal at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship.
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ABU DHABI // Nicolas Almagro will replace his Spanish compatriot Rafael Nadal in the fifth staging of the Mubadala Tennis World Championship, organisers in Abu Dhabi said today.

Nadal withdrew from the elite, six-man field on Christmas Day, citing a stomach virus.

Almagro is ranked No 11 in the world and will be making his first appearance in the exhibition tournament that serves as a start to the 2013 season.

His most recent competitive matches were in the Davis Cup final, where he lost in four sets to both Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek as the Czech Republic took the Cup from Spain with a 3-2 victory in Prague.

Almagro will be replace Nadal in the bracket, as well, gaining a direct place in the semi-finals on Friday. He will meet the winner of the quarter-final tomorrow pitting Andy Murray and Janko Tipsarevic.

Almagro, 27, has 12 career ATP tournament victories, all of them on clay and the most recent in Nice in May.

The revised Mubadala line-up is made of the world No 1 Novak Djokovic, the No 3 Murray, the No 5 David Ferrer, the No 6 Berdych, the No 9 Tipsarevic and Almagro.

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