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Rafael Nadal will play at a charity exhibition event called "Rafa's Summer Set" in Melbourne at the 7,500-seat Margaret Court Arena on January 14. He will face fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, whom he defeated in 5:14 in a five-set semifinal at the 2009 Australian Open. Nadal, who eventually won the title, says the semifinal was one of his greatest matches.
“I'm going to play against Verdasco, best-of-five in remembering a little bit that semi-final of 2009. That was one of the most emotional matches in my career,” Nadal said.
Nadal will also play with the former Australian finalist Mark Philippoussis and junior singles champion Omar Jasika.
The world No. 3 adds he is feeling much better physically, despite not playing much since winning Roland Garros due to injuries.
“I am fine, I am working very hard, the last couple of weeks I really increased a lot my practice, this operation on the appendix was good, no problems at all,” Nadal said. "I'm happy to say today that I am able to practice a lot of hours every day, and with the right intensity, so that's the most important thing. And after five, six months, the main thing is to work hard, try to be ready for the beginning of the season. Every match I have the chance to play will be very important for me."