Rafael Nadal Looking Forward To Abu Dhabi

Elizabeth Wagner - 01 Dec 2021

Even though multiple Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal has not played since August due to an ongoing battle with a foot injury, he’s officially back in practice in Mallorca.

This also means fans will get to soon see their hero in action in at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi. Nadal will form part of a group of six players to play for the title between December 16 and 18. The other participants will be Dominic Thiem, Andy Murray, Casper Ruud, Andrey Rublev, and Denis Shapovalov.

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Abu Dhabi A Favourite Playground

For Nadal, who is a six-time champion at the event, playing in Abu Dhabi has always been something he’s loved to do. He is the current defending champion in the Gulf country after he beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7, 7-5, 7-6 in a riveting 3 hours and 12 minutes final in 2019.

But even the great Rafa Nadal had to bring his A-game against his young opponent. Tsitsipas had been the one to oust Novak Djokovic in the semi-final of the event.

Nadal stove off break points at 4-4 during set no. 2 and would ultimately go on to reign victorious from a champion’s decider. In the end, it would be experience sealing the deal for the Spaniard as he grabbed the final set 7-3 to seal the victory.

Matching Nadal Not Possible

This season has proved a slight let-down for the great Nadal, who had played under 30 matches due to injury. Even so, he still managed to win a couple of titles as well as rack up enough points to remain a 17th consecutive season within the sport’s Top 10.

Nadal had been happy to reveal to his fans that he would play in Abu Dhabi, which of course resonated as good news all over the tennis world.

The Spaniard is a global hero to many, including former ace Jordi Arrese. Speaking after the recent Davis Cup qualifying rounds, Arrese’s comments turned to 18-year-old Spanish teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz, a player long referred to as the next Rafael Nadal.

Arrese said while Alcaraz undoubtedly has what it takes to become a truly great player, achieving everything Rafael Nadal has is very near impossible.

Arrese also commented on Novak Djokovic having to increasingly more often go up against strong young talent. He said while Djokovic is one of the few players likely to succeed, the journey is bound to become more impossible each time the younger generation progresses another step up the ladder.

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