Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal will delay his comeback a little further, according to Steve Wilson, the Associated Press’s European sports editor. Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic in June to win his seventh French Open title, but has been sidelined for the past six months due to nagging knee problems.
Nadal had planned to make his return at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, an exhibition tournament to be held in Abu Dhabi from Thursday to Saturday. But the 26-year-old reportedly pulled out of the tournament on doctor’s orders on Tuesday morning:
Prior to the decision, Nadal said he was not focused on results in Abu Dhabi, but rather getting healthy:
“For me my goal is not Abu Dhabi, it is not Doha, it is not the Australian Open – my goal is to try to be fit, to be 100 percent recovered with my knee and 100 percent fit in my personal performance by Indian Wells and Miami [in March], to try to arrive to Monte Carlo and the clay-court season in good shape.”
Djokovic and Andy Murray, both of whom have won the Mubadala tournament in the past, are expected to participate.