World number four Rafael Nadal of Spain has officially announced via his Facebook page that he won’t be participating at the 2012 Mubadala World Tennis Championships, an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi which takes place from December 27 to 29, 2012. This would have been the Spaniard’s first tournament since he pulled out of the 2012 Wimbledon Championships last June.

“I am very disappointed that I will not be able to compete this year in Abu Dhabi. I was really excited about returning to play and I always have a wonderful experience at the event and this is the first time I will miss the tournament,” Nadal wrote on his page.

“My rehab has gone well, my knee feels good and I was looking forward to competing. Unfortunately doctors have informed me that my body needs to rest in order to fight this stomach virus. I would like to say sorry to all my fans in the United Arab Emirates and around the world, but I hope to play and win in Abu Dhabi again next year,” he added.

With this development, it remains unclear whether Nadal will participate at the 2013 Australian Open which takes place a few weeks from now in Melbourne.