TC To Televise Rafa Nadal’s Return Live on Friday



It’s holiday season and Tennis Channel is celebrating giving viewers the gift of Rafa.

Rafael Nadal will play his first match in more than four months in Abu Dhabi on Friday and Tennis Channel will televise it live.

More: Nadal Set For Tour Return

The 20-time Grand Slam champion’s return at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship will air live on Tennis Channel at or after 10 a.m. on Friday, December 17th.

One of the most accomplished champions in the sport’s history—and one of three players tied for a record 20 men’s major singles titles—Nadal will compete in the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, set for December 16-18. He has not played since injuring his foot in early August.


Nadal is one of only two men to win singles titles at the Olympics and all four of the sport’s major tournaments: the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open. Often referred to as the greatest clay-court player of all time, he has won that surface’s most prestigious event – the French Open – a record 13 times. He is also an 11-time winner in Monte-Carlo and 10-time winner in Rome, which host two of the sport’s other top-level clay-court events. He has a record 22 wins against World No. 1 players during his career and was himself ranked at the top of men’s singles for 209 weeks.

Tennis Express

The 35-year-old Spaniard will play his first match since losing to South African Lloyd Harris in the Washington DC round of 16 last August. Nadal pulled the plug on his 2021 season after that loss to rehab and rest a foot injury. N

“My plan is to play Abu Dhabi in December and a tournament before playing the Australian Open. It is my goal and we are working hard to make it that way,” said Nadal, who posted a 24-5 record in 2021. “I don’t know exactly when I’ll be back, but I can say that my goal is to try to come back to Abu Dhabi in December, and then, of course, for the start of the new season in January.

“The injury in my foot still needs to get a little better, but I’m already training almost an hour and a half a day so that’s positive.”

Nadal has won the Mubadala World Tennis Championship five times, including the most recent competition in 2019. On Friday Nadal will play the winner of Thursday’s match between 2019 US Open champion Dominic Thiem and three-time major winner Andy Murray.

Photo credit: Christopher Levy

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