Rafael Nadal: Tennis’ comeback king ready for Abu Dhabi

The 13-time French Open winner is set to end his four-month long injury hiatus this week at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, before returning to full competition in Melbourne.

By Chloe Merrell
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Tennis great Rafael Nadal is ready and raring to make his latest comeback.

After four months away from the court, the two-time Olympic gold medallist will play at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi.

He will face either Britain's double Olympic singles champion Andy Murray, or Dominic Thiem, who is also looking to return to form after injury.

Any court-time the Spaniard can get under his belt ahead of next season will be crucial.

Nadal last played a tennis tournament at the Citi Open in August, before a foot injury side-lined him for the rest of the season. This caused him to miss out on major calendar events including the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the 2021 ATP Finals.

This latest return is sure to be a challenge for the 20-time Grand Slam winner, but one he seems eager to accept.

The latest news coming out of the Nadal camp is that he has added another date to his calendar ahead of his appearance at the 2022 Australian Open.

Nadal will mark his full competitive return to court at the ATP 250 event in Melbourne, beginning January 4, 2022.

Though he is the only top-25 player on the initial entry list, other names set to feature will be stiff competition and likely familiar to fans of tennis. 2017 ATP champion finalist Grigor Dimitrov is down to play as well as former world number four Kei Nishikori and big South African hitter Kevin Anderson.

READ: Rafael Nadal talks future plans, doubts & life onboard his yacht

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