Rafael Nadal, fresh from the disappointing United Cup expedition with his national team, is preparing to want to play another season as a protagonist and he will do so by changing his schedule. In the period between the end of February and the beginning of March, in fact, the Majorcan will take the court for the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, the ATP 500 tournament.
The announcement came with a tweet from the tournament itself, which will see Nadal compete again at a distance of 15 years since the last time. It will be the fifth presence in the emirates for Rafa, who stopped in the quarterfinals in 2004, 2007 and 2008, the year of his last participation.
Instead, he triumphed in 2006, when he defeated his lifelong friend and rival Roger Federer in the final. Presenting himself at the ATP 500 in Dubai, Nadal will therefore give up the defense of the title in that of Acapulco, a tournament that is played at the same time and which has seen him take up the trophy four times (2005, 2013, 2020, 2022).
ATP Dubai, will Novak Djokovic also be there?
The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, scheduled from February 27 to March 5, could be enriched by another prominent personality. In fact, it is curious to find out if the name of Novak Djokovic will also appear on the tournament draw, fresh winner of the ATP 250 in Adelaide with an extraordinary comeback against Sebastian Korda, who had a Championship point canceled by the Serbian and then even lost the title.
Djokovic who was the protagonist in Dubai both positively in 2020, when he won the tournament by defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final, and negatively in the 2022 edition, which saw him sensationally leave the scene in the quarterfinals thanks to the Czech Jiri Vesely.
In case of non-participation, it is possible (or probable) that Novak Djokovic will do the reverse path of Rafa Nadal and compete in Acapulco. Therefore, the chances of attending an illustrious show in Dubai are real. Meanwhile the two stars will be at the Australian Open 2023: Nole came back after last season ban, Rafa should defend last season title.
Guess who’s back 👀@RafaelNadal, World No. 2 and one of the greatest male players in Tennis history, returns to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship next month for the first time since 2008.🎾🔥
#DDFTennis #ATP @atptour pic.twitter.com/bfJ090mkFI — Dubai Tennis Champs (@DDFTennis) January 9, 2023