The newly crowned world number one in men’s tennis is set for a return to Abu Dhabi to defend his championship title.
Rafael Nadal, who recently re-claimed the world’s top spot following Roger Federer’s withdrawal in the Western and Southern Open in the US, has confirmed his participation in the Mubadala World Tennis Championship.
The 10th edition of the much-anticipated tournament will be hosted from 28th to 30th December at the International Tennis Center in Zayed Sports City.
Nadal, who will be competing in the tournament for the ninth time, will fight to take home his fifth trophy to go with the $250,000 (approximately AED 900,000) prize purse.
Standing in the Spanish ace’s way, however, are familiar foes: Milos Raonic, currently ranked world number 10 and competing in Abu Dhabi for the third time, and world number eight, Dominic Thiem, who will be making his tournament debut.
Three more world-class tennis players are set to join the competition and will be announced soon.
Nadal, who has returned to world number one for the first time since July 2014, has fought hard to reclaim his position after he dropped out of the 2016 season early to recover from a persistent wrist injury. Throughout his impressive career, Rafa, as he’s affectionately known, has spent a total of 141 weeks in the top spot since August 2008, but knows he faces stiff competition from a younger generation of up-and-coming players.