Rafael Nadal believes missing the Mubadala World Tennis Championships is the best way to help his body recover from a gruelling 2017.

2017 took its toll - Nadal

2017 took its toll - Nadal

The Spaniard was due to take up a spot at the exhibition event in Abu Dhabi, which starts on December 31, but has opted to pull out due to fitness concerns.

Nadal had to withdraw from the season-ending ATP Finals in London last month after just one match as he struggled with a knee issue, having remained injury free for the majority of 2017.

The 31-year-old’s ability to stay fit last season provided him with the opportunity to claim the French Open and US Open but he admits his exploits have taken their toll on his body.

"It was a tough 2017 and I need to take my calendar in a different way in order to be ready," Nadal told the official Mubadala World Tennis Championships website.

"For this reason, I have sadly announced to the organisers and now to you fans that I won't play this time in Abu Dhabi."