Rafael Nadal Gives Major Update on His Participation at ATP Dubai Open 2021

Published 03/11/2021, 3:40 AM EST
LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 12: Roger Federer of Switzerland shakes hands with Rafael Nadal of Spain after defeating him in the Men’s Singles Semi Final at The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championship at the All England Lawn and Tennis Club at Wimbledon on July 12, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Simon Bruty/Anychance/Getty Images)


Tennis fans are having a ball of a time in Doha, where Roger Federer recently made his comeback. Now there are reports that his arch-rival Rafael Nadal will join him in the next event in Dubai. This comes as a surprise because the Spaniard had withdrawn from the Acapulco Open, citing back issues.

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The Mexican Open is at the same time as the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship. Moreover, reports claimed that the 34-year-old would receive a wildcard entry in the tournament. Indeed, the excitement around Federer’s comeback will double with the surprise appearance of his greatest rival.

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Will Rafael Nadal join Roger Federer in Dubai?

Rafael Nadal had stunningly defeated Roger Federer in the 2006 Dubai Open final. It was the first loss for the Swiss maestro that year.

However, for a few years, the Spaniard has been traveling to Mexico instead of the desert. Additionally, he is also the defending champion at the ATP Acapulco Open.

Thus, withdrawing from defending his title and traveling to Dubai is an unlikely set of events. But onlookers also reported that Rafa has been practicing on hard courts for the past few days.

SHANGHAI, CHINA – OCTOBER 15: Roger Federer of Switzerland with Rafael Nadal of Spain pose with their trophies after the Men’s singles final match on day eight of 2017 ATP Shanghai Rolex Masters at Qizhong Stadium on October 15, 2017, in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Other than Mexico, the Spaniard had committed to play the Rotterdam Open 2021 in the Netherlands after 12 years. He withdrew from that as well, concerning the condition of his back.

Unfortunately, the two 20-time Grand Slam champions will not reunite in Dubai as Rafa himself clarified things on Twitter.

Now, all attention will be back on Federer, who is campaigning in Doha and will even play in Dubai.

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Which tournament will Federer and Nadal play together?

The big three were supposed to reunite at the Miami Open 2021. However, taking into account the strain of his desert tour, Federer decided to cancel the Sunshine state from his calendar.

Thus, the FEDAL match entirely depends on the clay season of the Swiss maestro. Moreover, Federer has been avoiding clay-court since the injury breakout in 2016.

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PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 07: Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerland embrace at the net after their men’s singles semi-final match during Day Thirteen of the 2019 French Open at Roland Garros on June 07, 2019, in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Despite the odds, fans will hope that Roger will play the French Open 2021. Undoubtedly, the 13-time Roland-Garros winner, Rafa, will also be ready in time to defend his title for the fifth straight year.

Do you think the FEDAL clash will happen in Paris this year?

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Purav Joshi

806 articles

Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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