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Fans of Rafael Nadal will be delighted to hear the Spaniard has set a date for his comeback to tennis after confirming he will play in an exhibition tournament two days after Christmas.

Nadal joins Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic for the Mubadala Championships in Abu Dhabi, an exhibition tournament that will be used to continue his rehabilitation following six months out with injury.

“Can’t wait to get back on court in Abu Dhabi at the end of the month,” Nadal said on his Facebook page. “I won in 2010 and 2011 – would love to get my hands on the trophy again!”

Indeed, Nadal’s inclusion in the tournament can only be good news for tennis fans indulging in Australian Open 2013 betting, for the 26-year-old’s talent and on-court personality has been sorely missed since injury forced him to withdraw from the tour after Wimbledon.

For persistent knee injuries have become as synonymous with Nadal as his 11 Grand Slam titles. The left-hander’s physical approach to the game has resulted in severe strains building up on his knees and he suffered a torn patella ligament as he recovered from tendinitis this summer.

Having missed the Olympics, US Open and the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London this year, many fans have voiced concern over Nadal’s future in the game.

He is already expected to greatly reduce his playing schedule this year, opting to focus on the clay tournaments of early summer such as Monte Carlo and Roland Garros rather than compete on the hard-courts that dominate the circuit.

2013 is set to be an interesting year for Nadal as we gauge whether or not he can still compete with the best in the world. His class is unquestionable, but those knees may not hold out and Abu Dhabi will be a good indicator of how far he will push himself to regain old form.

Nadal is currently trending at 9/1 in the tennis odds for the first Slam of the year, behind the ‘Big Three’ of Federer, Djokovic, and Murray.
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