Rafael Nadal's return date to the ATP Tour is set

Nadal, whose 2024 comeback hit a snag, plans to come back earlier than many expected

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Rafael Nadal's return to the ATP Tour is coming quicker than fans may have expected. While some thought he might rejoin the tour in March for the US leg of the Sunshine Double of Indian Wells and Miami, Nadal is returning in February for at least part of the Middle East portion of the tour.

Nadal is a confirmed participant of the ATP 250 event, the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, a hardcourt event held in Doha, Qatar. It begins on February 19 and concludes on February 24, 2024.

There are 28 players in the draw, and the tournament boasts a lot of well-known players as participants in this year's event. This will be a good measuring stick for Nadal's health, game, and ability to perform at a high level consistently match after match in a best-of-three set format.

In addition to Rafael Nadal, what other ATP players are in the Doha draw?

The top seed is defending champion Daniil Medvedev. Other noteworthy players include Andrey Rublev, Karen Khachanov, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, Lorenzo Musetti, and Andy Murray.

There is speculation that if all goes well in Doha, Nadal will also play in Dubai at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, an ATP 500 event, running from February 26 through March 2, 2024.

We have not seen the social media practice videos of Nadal on the court like we did leading up to his January comeback. It is hard to say how his body is feeling and what type of training he is doing.

Fans did notice that Nadal was visited by Roger Federer recently at Nadal's academy. The two took photos together and with their respective agents. Both are missed in the men's game. Their personality, charisma, and talent will never be duplicated despite the presence of a slew of young talented players trying to continue their legacy of challenging Novak Djokovic.

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