World No 2 Rafael Nadal has confirmed he will make his return from injury at next month’s Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion joins a star-studded field that includes world No 1 Novak Djokovic, Kevin Anderson, Dominic Thiem and Venus Williams for the December 27 to 29 exhibition event.
But it is the news that Nadal will return to action before the new year is out that will really get his fans buzzing.
The Spaniard was forced to pull out of the Paris Masters and the ATP World Tour Finals in London because of an abdominal injury, and later confirmed he would be using the time off to undergo ankle surgery.
But it seems his recovery has gone according to plan and he will be back in action in time for the Australian Open in January.
Nadal is a regular fixture in Abu Dhabi, and has won it four times.
“Abu Dhabi is one of my favourite places to play, the climate, atmosphere and enthusiasm from the crowds at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship provides the perfect start to the new season,” he said.
“The tournament brings together players at the top of their game; we all relish playing in these extremely competitive matches.”