Two-time French Open champion Raphael Nadal will make his first appearance in Thailand in an exhibition match against Argentine world No 4 David Nalbandian in Hua Hin on New Year's Eve.
The world No 2, who ousted Roger Federer in four sets for his second championship at Roland Garros this year, will play a special match on December 31 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of His Majesty the King's accession to the throne.
World No 1 Federer was invited to play Nadal, but is committed to play in Dubai at the time. Nalbandian, the 2005 ATP Masters Cup champion, was then chosen to replace him. According to officials, Nadal's appearance fee was expected to be more than US$300,000. Nalbandian's fee was lower.