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World Tennis Championship: Rafael Nadal withdraws from third-place match

Nadal underwent a surgery on his right ankle last month after dealing with knee and abdominal issues.

World Tennis Championship: Rafael Nadal withdraws from third-place match
Image Credits: Reuters

Spanish tennis maestro Rafael Nadal has confirmed that he has decided to skip the match for the third place at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship as a precaution.

Nadal, 32 , returned to the court here on Friday for the first time since injury forced him to retire from a US Open semi-final clash against Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro on September 7, reports Efe.

Last month, he underwent a surgery on his right ankle after dealing with knee and abdominal issues.

"I will not play. I will take a couple of days off ahead of the new season," Nadal told a press conference here on Friday. 

"This tournament, it was a goal to be here. I am very happy to have been here. I cannot thank enough the tournament organization for the understanding," Nadal said, adding that he aims to reach optimum form in time for the Australian Open, which begins on January 14.

After losing 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 to South Africa`s Kevin Anderson in the Mubadala semi-final, Nadal was supposed to face Russia`s Karen Khachanov in the third place match.

Meanwhile, Anderson will now lock horns with World No.1 Novak Djokovic in the summit showdown on Saturday.