Rafa Nadal back for AO in 2024!
Rafael Nadal is looking forward to a determined return.
Rafael Nadal (Image Credits: FREY - TENNIS PHOTO NETWORK)
The grand old man ain’t giving up. News of romantic relic Rafael Nadal confirming participation at the 2024 Australian Open spread like wildfire on Wednesday.
Tournament director Craig Tiley told Channel 9 early morning Nadal had said “Yes.” The big debate starts on the Spaniard’s fitness and whether he is ready for the rigors of hard tennis.
It is in Melbourne this January Nadal hobbled off the tennis courts in pain and tears. There has been repeated speculation that he will retire. Even he said that before the French Open in May 2023.
After all, he has been out for the entire current season. Even Rafa’s planned attempt at showing up for a Davis Cup tie earlier last month failed. It led to further rumors, “Nadal is finished.”
Physically, Nadal may have been finished or ravaged by injuries and all sorts of trauma. Yet, he has not yet given up, in the heart or head. Why? This is the champion side of Rafa. Like him or loathe him. This is the twilight of his career. This is going to be his last run in 2024, for he had promised retirement.
Deep down, there is that burning desire to compete at the French Open in 2024, his terrain and also the Paris Olympics. All this is a subject of conjecture, but he has certainly set tennis news sites on fire.
Fans are eagerly waiting for Rafael Nadal’s comeback
If 2023 belonged to Novak Djokovic, even he would not mind the return of Nadal. It may be a farewell in Melbourne, or, one could see a fitter Nadal after intense rehab and recovery. He has been pictured swimming, hitting tennis balls, and much more in the last few weeks.
Age is not on his side, but if that is a factor, even Venus Williams, in her forties, has not given up. She still gets wild cards.
Will Nadal be back with a protected ranking or some other way, nothing is clear. Viewed from a marketing strategy of the Australian Open in 2024, to have Nadal and the GOAT Novak will be a great ploy. Tennis fans thought Carlos Alcaraz would set the tennis world on fire in 2023. Nothing like that happened.
For those who think Nadal is coming back to challenge Novak in terms of winning more Grand Slam titles, do not get the narrative wrong. It is for emotional reasons Nadal wants to be back. Giving up is easy, not fighting back. Many epitaphs have been written for Nadal. Maybe, he is out to prove a point; he is not finished. For those wanting to lower Nadal into the grave, he is still alive and kicking.
Have we not heard crazy stories of dead men walking!
Maybe, Nadal is attempting to do that in a different way. This is a bit reminiscent of what Serena Williams was attempting over and over again before retiring in 2022.
You can love Nadal, you can hate Nadal. What you cannot do is to tell him to retire. He will do it in 2024 if he is going to keep his promise.
Oh yes, did we not hear, promises are meant to be broken!
In case you missed it:
- 16-year-old Mirra Andreeva breaks into the Top-50 of the WTA rankings as her exponential rise continues having jumped more than 240 places since the start of the season
- WATCH: Iga Swiatek performs the China Open’s ‘champion handprint’ ceremony as the Pole clinches her 5th title of the season
- Follow FirstSportz on WhatsApp Channel