26 Dec 2012

Stomach virus rules Nadal out of Abu Dhabi

6:43 am on 26 December 2012

The former men's tennis world number one Rafael Nadal's long-awaited return after an agonising six-month knee injury battle has been put off because of a stomach infection.

The 26-year-old Spaniard - who hasn't played since his shock second-round exit to 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon in June - had been due to play in a six-player exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi this week ahead of his return to the ATP circuit at Doha from December 31.

Nadal was due to join world number one Novak Djokovic and US Open champion Andy Murray among others at the three-day event but revealed on his Twitter and Facebook sites that he had to skip Abu Dhabi because of a viral infection of the stomach which has provoked a fever.