Rafael Nadal will take advantage of an upside-down ATP schedule to return to the ATP Rotterdam event for the first time since 2009.

The entry of the world No. 2 was revealed on Tuesday by delighted officials, who have added the Spaniard to an indoor field which also includes Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori, Daniil Medvedev and Jannik Sinner. 

The 34-year-old, who is completing 800 weeks in the Top 10 of the ATP rankings, lost the final at his last appearance to Andy Murray.

The 2021 calendar has been turned on its head by the continuing COVID-19 crisis, with Rotterdam being staged a month later than its normal February date, running now from March 1-7.

“This year the season has a different calendar and in this case it fits well into my schedule. It’s a tournament that I like to play and hopefully be in their honours roll,” the 20-time Grand Slam champion said.

Added TD Richard Krajicek, the 1996 Wimbledon winner: “It’s no secret that Rafael Nadal is one of my all-time favourite players. The intensity he brings to the court is unparalleled.

“His fighting spirit in combination with his unique technique is an example for everyone. The fact that he returns to Rotterdam after so many years makes it extra special, of course.” 

The Dutchman added: “We once had annual contact about Nadal playing here, but it did not fit into the schedule. 

“Now that the season looks different in terms of planning, he was open to coming back to Rotterdam. 

“Of course we immediately seized that opportunity. It would  be great if we could add him to our Ring of Champions.”

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