Rafael Nadal reveals the news his fans have been waiting for as he prepares to return

Rafael Nadal unsure

Rafael Nadal has been edging his way back to full fitness at his Academy in Mallorca and now he has confirmed when he plans to return to court.

The former world No.1 and 20-time Grand Slam champion has not played since pulling out of the US Open in August and confirming he was ending his season prematurely due to a foot problem.

Yet he is now closing in on a return and has confirmed he hopes to play at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi next month and is then targetting a return to top tier action at the Australian Open in January.

“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,” Nadal said at a Babolat event in Paris.

“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.

“I’m training, I’m feeling better. I’m back on the court.”

Nadal could be joined in Abu Dhabi by Andy Murray, who has hinted he will play at the event as part of his Australian Open preparations.

When asked what his plans after his final event of the season in Stockholm next week he stated: “I might go away for a little bit. Potentially play in the Abu Dhabi exhibition, as well, which is kind of middle of December.

“Then there is a thing in Scotland which will get a couple of good matches there too.

“I don’t know 100 per-cent if Abu Dhabi is happening or not, but certainly if I wasn’t going to go there I would definitely go away and practice for a little bit outdoors in the sun.

“I have played a lot of tennis recently, so it would be nice to just be at home and rest and let the body recover a little bit and the mind, as well. And then make a plan for what I do moving forwards.”