Rafael Nadal To Play In Abu Dhabi And Doha On His Way To Melbourne
epa03479236 Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal, serves a ball during his first training session in Manacor, Balearic Islands, Spain, 20 November 2012, after spending several months off the tennis courts due to a injury. EPA/ISAAC BUJ |
Doha tournament director Karim Alami says Rafael Nadal is on the way to the Gulf to start his ATP season on the last day of the year. The former ATP player told the region’s The Peninsula newspaper: “Nadal is returning to competitive tennis since his knee injury at Wimbledon so everyone is looking forward to seeing what he brings.”
The 26-year-old No. 4 Spaniard will not have played for six months due to his lingering knee injuries by the time he gets to Doha, which begins the 2013 ATP season.
Nadal is now also due to start at the rich Abu Dhabi exhibition form December 27-29 to pick up some petty cash after his long absence from the courts.
World number one Novak Djokovic and US Open champion Andy Murray are due to play Abu Dhabi, with Roger Federer skipping the Middle East events in the run-up to the January 14 start of the Australian Open.
Nadal last played in a second-round Wimbledon loss in late June. He began training last week, with a brief session in front of television cameras at an indoor court on his home island of Mallorca and pronounced himself on the road to full recovery.
Nadal, down to fourth in the world, would be top seed in Doha, which begins December 31 in a field which also includes fellow Spaniard David Ferrer and Frenchmen Gael Monfils and Richard Gasquet.
We as a group here @10sballs_com have been seat holders, players, coaches, agents, PHYSIOS, friends, writers, photographers the entire time! We have been part of this event since it's inception. Where did 40 years go? We will work on a few stories about what we loved at each venue. Take a holiday. For a day or longer. People fly in from all over the world. It's that great!
What makes a star in the making shine? Is it the marketability? The constant hype around “the next best thing” or is it just the opposite and a quiet determination to do the right things and get the job done that marks out Madison Keys as the one to watch this year.
Wednesday's lineup at the Australian Open is a scintillating one on both the men's and women's sides. Each of the top players in the world--Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams--is in action. Also taking the court are Venus Williams, Madison Keys, and defending men's champion Stan Wawrinka.
By now we think the “no-one beats [/insert name] [/insert number of times] in a row" has been done to death but it has to be said that Tomas Berdych delivered the performance of his life against an up and down Rafael Nadal to book his place once more in the Australian Open semi-final.