Nadal gearing up for Qatar Open after ending 6-month long injury lay-off
Tennis ace Rafael Nadal will be ending his six-month, injury-enforced absence from the tennis circuit by playing back-to-back tournaments in the Persian Gulf before entering the Australian Open.
The 26-year-old Spaniard hasn't played since his shock second-round loss to Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon in June after being diagnosed with Hoffa syndrome, an inflammation of the fatty tissue in his left knee, a problem that has sidelined him several times over the years.
Nadal will play alongside Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray in a three-day exhibition in Abu Dhabi beginning December 27, before taking top seeding at the Qatar Open in Doha, which starts on December 31, The Age reports.
According to the paper, French Open champion Nadal was unable to defend his Olympic title, missed the US Open, the ATP World Tour Finals and also Spain's loss to the Czech Republic in the Davis Cup final.
''Nadal is returning to competitive tennis [for the first time] since his knee injury at Wimbledon, so everyone is looking forward to seeing what he brings,'' Qatar Open tournament director Karim Alami said.