Rafael Nadal has revealed that he plans to return to action in Abu Dhabi in December.
The 35-year-old has been out of action for three months and underwent treatment for a foot injury in September.
Speaking at a sponsorship event in Paris, he says he is “enjoying more positive days” and hopes to play at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition event, which will run from December 16 to 18.
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“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 the 20-time Grand Slam champion.
British No 1 Emma Raducanu is also set to play in Abu Dhabi along with ATP top-20 players Denis Shapovalov and Casper Ruud.
Nadal will then head to Australia to play a warm-up event before the Australian Open, which starts in Melbourne on January 17.
He says he was away from the tennis court for a month but is now practising for about one-and-a-half hours each day.
"I don't know exactly when I'll be back," he said. "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. Some days are better than others, but I'm starting to have a lot more positive days than negative ones. So I'm on the right track."
Nadal’s last competitive match was at the Citi Open in Washington DC on August 6 when he lost to South African Lloyd Harris.
If he does play at the Australian Open then Nadal will be bidding to win a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title.
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