Rafael Nadal to defend his title at the 10th staging of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi

Dominic Thiem and Milos Raonic also named by organisers for the event at Zayed Sports City, which runs between December 28-30.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 29:  Rafael Nadal of Spain in action during his men's singles match against Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic on day one of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship at Zayed Sport City on December 29, 2016 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
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Rafael Nadal will be back in Abu Dhabi in December where he will look to win a fifth Mubadala World Tennis Championship title.

The 15-time major winner and world No 2 was announced on Monday as part of the first three players in the field for the event at the International Tennis Centre Zayed Sports City between December 28-30, with a prize-fund of $250,000 (Dh918,200) at stake for the winner.

Dominic Thiem, the world No 8, and Milos Raonic, the world No 10, are the other two players named for the three-day exhibition event, with the other three players still to be announced.

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It will be the 10th staging of the tournament and it is fitting that Nadal, the competition's most successful player in its history, will be leading the line-up.

The Spaniard is the defending champion, having won the 2016 December event by beating David Goffin in the final.

Nadal, 31, has also won the event in 2010, 2011 and in January 2016, and was runner-up in the inaugural staging of the event in 2008-09, when he lost to Andy Murray in the final.

In a news release yesterday, Nadal said “I am extremely excited to play in the Mubadala World Tennis Championship again later this year.

"This tournament is very important to me as it is not only the 10th edition and my ninth appearance, but I will also be defending my title. I am very proud to be part of this great event and I know it will be a really enjoyable and challenging tournament as always.”

Nadal's success in January was the catalyst for a strong 2017 so far, which was highlighted by him winning his 10th French Open title in June and reaching the Australian Open final as well.

Thiem will be making his first appearance in Abu Dhabi, while Raonic has competed the past two years, losing to Nadal in the January 2016 final.

Tickets to the Championship went on sale to the general public at 12pm on Monday at www.ticketmaster.ae and all Virgin Megastores across the UAE. For more information, visit: www.mubadalawtc.com