The Mubadala World Tennis Championship is making a return to the tennis calendar after a one year break. The tournament will see Rafael Nadal make his highly anticipated return from injury, with the Spaniard confirming his participation via a video that was shared by the organisers.
The 35-year-old's last match was at the ATP 500 event in Washington in August, following which he decided to end his season owing to a recurring foot injury. Nadal recently revealed that he had made good progress in his rehabilitation, and was hoping to make his return at the tournament in Abu Dhabi that runs between Dec 16 and 18.
The 20-time men's singles Grand Slam champion confirmed his participation on Monday via a short video stating that he is "very happy" to be making his comeback at the exhibition event in the UAE. The Spaniard will use the event to build up match fitness ahead of his trip to Australia for the first Grand Slam of the year in Melbourne.
"Hello everyone, Rafa here, I am very happy to be back at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi," Nadal said in the video message. "I hope to see you soon there."
Nadal will be joined at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship by former world number one Andy Murray, clay court specialist Dominic Thiem, and young chargers, Casper Ruud, Dennis Shapovalov and Andrey Rublev. The Mallorca native will play one of Thiem or Murray for a place in the championship match.
The 13-time French Open winner is the defending champion at the three-day exhibition event having beaten Stefanos Tsitsipas in an intense three set battle in 2019. The tournament was called off last year owing to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, but the organisers are preparing to host the 13th edition, with the Mubadala building facade shining bright with the tournament schedule.
"#MWTC [Mubadala World Tennis Championship] in the heart of Abu Dhabi! Our 2021 stars lit up under the stars on the facade of the Mubadala Tower last week," the statement read.