World number four Rafael Nadal raises expectations ahead of Abu Dhabi return
Rafael Nadal has set his sights on victory when he makes his return from long-term injury in Abu Dhabi.
Last Updated: 11/12/12 3:30pm
The Spaniard has not played competitively since his shock second-round loss to Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon in June due to a partial tear of the patellar tendon in his left knee, but has recently returned to the practice court.
And he confirmed he will make his comeback at the Abu Dhabi tournament on December 28.
Speaking last week, the 11-time Grand Slam champion claimed that he was keeping his expectations in check ahead of his return, insisting that he expects to find his best form and fitness by April.
But writing on his Facebook page on Tuesday, Nadal appeared to revise those expectations by claiming that he is dreaming of landing the Abu Dhabi crown for a third time.
"Can't wait to get back on court in Abu Dhabi at the end of the month," Nadal said.
"I won the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in 2010 and 2011 - would love to get my hands on the trophy again this year!"
Nadal's latest comments contrast with an interview he gave last week, when he struck a far more cautious tone.
"I will only come back when I am fit. I won't come back worrying about my knee," he told Spanish radio station Onda Cero.
"The results will not worry me in the first tournaments back.
"We are in the last stage of the recovery and I want to recover as soon as possible but I will not rush back and then have to stop again in six months or a year's time."