MALLORCA-BORN tennis ace Rafa Nadal is back on form and has just won his fourth Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Back after a three-month break in an attempt to let his left wrist heal, the 30-year-old former world number one – who has been blighted with injuries for over four years on and off – staged a spectacular comeback on New Year's Eve to beat Belgium's David Goffin in two sets.
Reaching his fifth final after dispatching the Czech Republic's Tomas Berdych and then Milos Raonic, Rafa was up against stiff competition in Goffin – the 26-year-old had already beaten France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and current ATP number one, the unstoppable Scot Andy Murray.
Although set one involved just one break, set two saw more knife-edge action – two breaks, plus four chances for Goffin thwarted by a Rafa hold, then a Goffin hold meant the outcome was unpredictable to the end.
The pair went into a tie-break which Rafa sailed through on 7-5, netting the Mubadala trophy for the fourth time in his career.
After beating Goffin 6-4 7-6, the Spaniard is now on his way to Queensland, Australia, where he will be gunning for the Brisbane International.
Rafa clearly showed with his performance in Abu Dhabi that he wants and is very able to return to the top flight in tennis, having beaten two top 10 players and a number 11 – Goffin – and having apparently recovered some of his best moves which were severely hampered by his string of injuries.
And stage fright did not seem to affect him, as the prodigal player did not hesitate once in either set and has now beaten former number one Novak Djokovic's three Mubadala victories and Andy Murray's two.
Meanwhile, the Belgian, following his very creditable and well-earned second place, will hop on a short-haul flight to compete in the Qatar Open in Doha.