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Rafael Nadal to play in Chennai Open

French Open champion Rafael Nadal confirmed his participation in the Chennai Open to be held in January 2007.

india Updated: Nov 07, 2006 20:14 IST

French Open champion Rafael Nadal of Spain on Tuesday confirmed his participation in the 2007 Chennai Open to be held in January 2007.

"The Chennai tournament is a great event and the enthusiasm of the crowds is very encouraging. I was unfortunate to miss it out last year due to injury," said Nadal in a statement.

"I cherish my doubles title in Chennai. I hope to make good in singles this time," the world No 2 added.

The only time the Spaniard participated in the event was in 2004 - as a rookie - and suffered a first-round exit by losing to Frenchman Thierry Ascione in the singles. But Nadal made amends by teaming up with compatriot Tommy Robredo to win the doubles title.

Robredo had also confirmed his participation for the event this year but pulled out at the last minute due to a niggling injury in his left-foot.

The tournament will be played at the SDAT Stadium in Nungambakkam Jan 1-7.

"It feels great to have the world No 2 player for the tournament. Rafael has always enjoyed playing in Chennai and he was extremely disappointed at missing out on last year's edition due to injury," said tournament director Fernando Soler.

The $40,000 Chennai Open, owned and organised by IMG, is South Asia's premiere ATP International Series event.

"This is truly fantastic. With Indian tennis making its mark in international arena, Rafael Nadal's participation comes as a major triumph and will see the field looking more impressive," said Balu Nayar, managing director, IMG India.

First Published: Nov 07, 2006 19:49 IST