“Get ready for clay season,” Coco Gauff coach Brad Gilbert expecting a ‘good run’ at Australian Open following Rafael Nadal’s much awaited comeback

Rafael Nadal's impending return to the Tour at the 2024 Australian Open prompted Coco Gauff coach Brad Gilbert to expect an optimistic outcome for the Spaniard.


“Get ready for clay season,” Coco Gauff coach Brad Gilbert expecting a ‘good run’ at Australian Open following Rafael Nadal’s much awaited comeback

Rafael Nadal (L), and Brad Gilbert (R) (Image via: Tennis major)

Rafael Nadal has been absent from the men’s Tour for the entirety of the 2023 season. The Spaniard last performed at the season’s Australian Open, where he suffered an unfortunate second-round loss at the hands of Mackenzie McDonald after he sustained a reoccurring hip injury.

Since then, the 22-time Major champion has been sidelined from the circuit and underwent arthroscopic surgery to rectify his injury. However, on Friday, December 1, Nadal announced he would resume professional tennis. 

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His comeback recently elicited Coco Gauff‘s coach, Brad Gilbert, to opine a “good run” for the Spaniard in the upcoming Melbourne Slam.

The American tennis coach recently took to social media and was asked to divulge his thoughts on Rafael Nadal’s expected run in the 2024 Australian Open by an X (previously known as Twitter) user.

In his response, Brad Gilbert reserved a few words for Rafa’s possible outcome in the season’s inaugural major. The 62-year-old hoped that the ‘King of Clay’ would do justice to his Melbourne campaign and, with it, get back to his best form for the clay season.

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Hopefully a good run to get ready for clay season. 
Brad Gilbert wrote on X.

After undergoing corrective surgery, the Spanish tennis star has seemingly completed his rehabilitation journey and will be looking to hit the ground in 2024.

Nadal will undoubtedly be yearning to get some quality practice matches at Brisbane International, a warm-up event for the Australian Open, before taking on the circuit’s biggest competitors. The Spaniard is also speculated to take on his arch-rival and 10-time Melbourne Slam champion, Novak Djokovic, during his campaign.

Rafael Nadal’s uncle Toni Nadal expresses full confidence ahead of the Spaniard’s return

Rafael Nadal’s uncle, Toni Nadal, recently took to social media to share his enthusiasm and excitement ahead of his nephew’s much-awaited comeback to the ATP Tour in 2024. 

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Tennis fans were delighted after the Spaniard recently announced his comeback via an emotional video message and will be aiming for a fitting conclusion to his commendable career.

Rafael Nadal (L), and Toni Nadal (R)

The Spanish tennis coach reserved a few words for his nephew’s impending comeback after posting video footage of Nadal on his official Instagram handle. 

The 62-year-old admitted the challenges Nadal would face following his injury but ultimately expressed full confidence in the latter. He also conveyed that the 37-year-old star would not disappoint during his performance on the Tour.

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Very excited to see @rafaelnadal. compete again. Even knowing this time will be "the hardest one yet", I have great faith in him and believe he won’t disappoint. 
Toni Nadal captioned his Instagram post (translated from Spanish).

However, Nadal’s prolonged absence from the sport has led to a significant drop in his rankings. The Spaniard concluded the season with a rank of World No. 663, ultimately experiencing a huge hit after previously enjoying the No. 1 spot during his 2023 Australian Open campaign.

In light of that, the 37-year-old will enter the upcoming Melbourne Slam unseeded, which could further add complexity to his participation in the Major and possibly face higher-seeded opponents early on as the tournament progresses.

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