NADAL TO MAKE DE­CEM­BER RE­TURN IN ABU DHABI

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

FOUR­TEEN-TIME Grand Slam cham­pion Rafael Nadal (car­i­ca­ture) will make his re­turn to ac­tion at the Mubadala World Tennis Cham­pi­onships ex­hi­bi­tion event in Abu Dhabi at the end of De­cem­ber. Nadal’s 2016 sea­son was plagued by phys­i­cal prob­lems and he cut his cam­paign short in Oc­to­ber to re­cover fully to tar­get a re­turn to Grand Slam glory in 2017. “Ex­cited to an­nounce my first tour­na­ment back will be in Abu Dhabi at the #MubadalaWorldTen­nisCham­pi­onship in De­cem­ber,” the Spa­niard posted on his Twit­ter ac­count yes­ter­day. Nadal, a three-time win­ner of the event, will be joined by new world num­ber one Andy Murray, Mi­los Raonic, Jo-Wil­fried Tsonga, David Gof­fin and Thomas Berdych in the six-man even from De­cem­ber 29-31. The 37-year-old sen­a­tor claimed the WBO wel­ter­weight ti­tle with a unan­i­mous points vic­tory over Amer­i­can Jessie Var­gas in Las Ve­gas on Satur­day, his first bout since April. “I went back af­ter the fight be­cause there is still work at the of­fice and I’m ex­cited to get back to work,” Pac­quiao, wear­ing a flower gar­land, told re­porters at the air­port along­side Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice chief Ron­ald Dela Rosa. “So box­ing is done, set aside for now, and just fo­cus on work.” The south­paw, win­ner of world ti­tles in eight dif­fer­ent weight di­vi­sions and the first sit­ting sen­a­tor to win a world box­ing cham­pi­onship, has not ruled out fight­ing again. The for­mer con­gress­man, who has a 59-6-2 win-loss­draw record, said af­ter Satur­day’s bout that he would like a re­match with re­tired Amer­i­can Floyd May­weather Ju­nior who beat him last year.

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