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Don’t expect miracles, warns Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal will make his long-awaited return to tennis after an agonising six-month knee injury battle in the Gulf this week, but has warned he is not expecting any title-winning pyrotechnics.

The 26-year-old Spaniard joins world number one Novak Djokovic and third-ranked Andy Murray in the six-player, three-day Mubadala Championships ahead of his return to the ATP circuit at Doha from December 31.

Nadal hasn’t played since his shock second round exit to 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon in June, missing the Olympics, the US Open as well as the Davis Cup final against the Czech Republic which his country lost.

‘Abu Dhabi is a test. My goal is not this week, not Doha or the Australian Open. My goal is to get fit, recover all my feelings. The only thing I care about is the knee,’ he said.

‘The idea is to go from there. I won’t give much value to what will happen next month or in two months. My real goal is to start in perfect condition.’
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