Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal has sent fans into an absolute frenzy with the revelation of his long-awaited comeback.
Having been absent from the tour since January of the previous year due to a hip flexor injury suffered in the second round of the Australian Open, the 37-year-old Spanish tennis legend is gearing up for a triumphant return.
Breaking the news on social media on Friday, December 1, Nadal announced his much-anticipated comeback, confirming his participation in the Brisbane International scheduled for January 2024.
“After one year outside the tour, I think it’s the right moment to be back,” he began.
“I have been working hard and feeling much better the last couple of weeks, so I feel ready to announce that I will be back in Brisbane in the first week of the season.”
— Brisbane International (@BrisbaneTennis) December 1, 2023
Tennis enthusiasts, who have sorely missed Nadal’s indomitable spirit and fierce on-court presence, wasted no time in expressing their excitement for his return.
That’s awesome! Missed Rafa so much. Looking forward to Brisbane!
— Ginette Veugelers (@GigiVeugelers) December 2, 2023
Music to my ears!!! Tennis needs you Rafa! ?????????
— Lili ? (@Lili_PGH) December 2, 2023
Wow this is an amazing news!! Super excited to see you!!!
— Babu Patil (@babupatil123) December 1, 2023
THE GOAT IS BACK.
— Rafael Nadal Fans Page (@jusvan28) December 1, 2023
Can’t wait to see you roaring again.
— Samuel Tku’e?? (@Samuel_Tkue) December 1, 2023
Nadal’s thrilling announcement followed uncertainty surrounding his tennis future, sparked by recent hints of retirement plans.
In a press conference held on Thursday, May 18, Nadal informed reporters that he couldn’t participate in this year’s French Open due to an ongoing hip injury from which he had not fully recuperated.
“I was even working as much as possible every single day for the last four months, they have been very difficult months because we were not able to find a solution to the problems I had in Australia,” he said at the time.
“Today I’m still in a position where I am not able to feel myself ready to compete at the standards I need to be to play Roland Garros.
“I am not the guy who will be at Roland Garros just to play.”
Nadal went on to reveal that he planned to take time off over the coming months with the hope that he can recover in time for the “important tournaments” in 2024, with next year expected to be his “last year in the professional tour”.
“My goal and my ambition is to try and stop and give myself an opportunity to enjoy the next year that will probably be my last year in the professional tour,” Nadal told reporters.
“That is my idea but I can’t say 100 per cent it will be like this, but my idea and my motivation is to try to enjoy and say goodbye to all the tournaments that have been important for me.
“To enjoy being competitive and something that today is not possible. I believe, if I keep going now, I will not be able to make it happen.
“I will stop for a while, maybe one month, maybe two months, maybe three months. I am a guy who doesn’t like to predict too much the future. I am following what I believe is the right thing to do for my body and my personal happiness.
“I don’t want to say one thing and do the other. It is better to hold the options open and see what is the best calendar possible.
“I would like to play the things that are important for me and of course the Olympic Games is an important competition and one I hope to play. Will it be my last or not? I cannot say.”
As Nadal gets ready for the next phase of his remarkable career, one thing is clear – fans worldwide will be watching the courts closely, eager to see the return of his unmatched passion and determination.