Rafael Nadal: 'Abu Dhabi is a special place for me, it has always been'

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Rafael Nadal: 'Abu Dhabi is a special place for me, it has always been'

Sidelined since August due to a foot injury, the 20-time Major winner Rafael Nadal has made significant progress in the last two months. The 20-time Major champion will return to action in Abu Dhabi between December 16-18, entering the 13th edition of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship at Zayed Sports City's International Tennis Centre.

The Spaniard is a five-time Mubadala champion, securing the latest title in that epic 2019 final against Stefanos Tsitsipas. Eager to compete at one of his favorite tournaments again, Nadal stated how much he loves to play in Abu Dhabi, feeling great on the court and starting many seasons from that event.

This season, Rafa played under 30 matches due to injuries, winning two titles and earning enough points to wrap up another year in the top-10.

Rafael Nadal will compete in Abu Dhabi between December 16-18.

Rafa feels confident about making a fresh start in Abu Dhabi, hoping to play a couple of tournaments ahead of the Australian Open and raise his level ahead of the season's first Major.

In the Mubadala World Tennis Championship two years ago, Nadal prevailed over Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7, 7-5, 7-6 in three hours and 15 minutes of grueling battle to lift the fifth title. It was one of the best encounters in the history of this tournament, and Rafa needed everything from his arsenal to top the young challenger, who ousted Novak Djokovic in the semi-final.

"Abu Dhabi is a special place for me, the one where I have been many times and where I started my seasons many times. Ever since I first came to Abu Dhabi, I've had a great response from the fans, and I'm sure the atmosphere is going to be special as always," Rafael Nadal said.

"Rafael Nadal and the Mubadala World Tennis Championship go hand in hand, and we are incredibly pleased that the player with the most appearances at our Championship has declared himself fit to continue his remarkable run in Abu Dhabi.

The fact he has only missed two of the past 12 editions is a testament to the endearing appeal of the event and Abu Dhabi as a host of major sporting events. We strive to deliver the best, and securing the champion is confirmation of that.

We now have a stellar line-up, with two more world-class announcements to come, so I urge fans to buy their tickets now to make sure they don't miss out," John Lickrish, CEO of Flash Entertainment, said.