World number two Rafael Nadal has confirmed his participation for the ATP Chennai Open, to be held at the SDAT Stadium, Nungambakkam from December 31, 2007 to January 6, 2008.
The Chennai Open has attracted a strong Spanish presence, with former French Open champion Carlos Moya an eternal favourite in the South Indian city. This will be Nadal's third appearance in the last five years in Chennai, though the Mallorcan has failed to win a title there.
"It feels great to be coming back to Chennai," Nadal said in a statement. "I like the crowd and their enthusiasm and support and they always push you to give your best.
"I lost in the semi-finals last time and I hope to win my first Chennai Open title this year. I had some injuries this year but Iam confident that I would make a good start to the New Year and improve my performance, playing in this tournament."
Nadal started his Chennai Open journey in 2004 (then Tata Open) as a young 16-year old. He lost to Frenchman Thierry Ascione in the first round but made his mark with his first career title, partnering with Spanish compatriot Tommy Robredo to win the doubles title.
Last year Nadal looked a little rusty before eventual winner Xavier Malisse of Belgium defeated him in the semi-final.
Tournament Director, Fernando Soler said, "Rafa is a special player and his confirmation at such an early stage re-affirms the popularity and importance Chennai Open has gathered in the ATP men's tour.
"He is very eager to improve on his performance here and I am sure Chennai will get to watch some spectacular tennis action from this Grand Slam Champion this year."