Nadal gives his word
Rafael Nadal has confirmed he will be fit to make the 2013 Australian Open in January, tournament director Craig Tiley has said.
The 2009 tournament winner is almost at the end of a long and arduous road back from a chronic knee injury and hopes to step up his comeback efforts at an exhibition in Abu Dhabi, starting on December 27.
The 11-time Grand Slam winner has not played competitive tennis since a shock defeat to 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol in the second round of Wimbledon in June.
Hopes are high that the Spanish world number four will be ready to return at Melbourne Park and Tiley said he had received a personal assurance from Nadal, who lost in a thrilling five-set clash in the final against world number Novak Djokovic in January.
"We are fortunate that we start in January," Tiley told R-Sport. "Players have taken some time off so that they are not injured, like Rafa Nadal whom I spoke to last week and he is going to be ready to play."