WATCH: Rafael Nadal’s training footage gives hope to fans ahead of Australian Open return
Rafael Nadal will appear on the court for the first time since the 2023 Australian Open where he was the defending champion.
Rafael Nadal(Images via @gigicat7_/X and Reuters)
22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal released a video of him training. The 2023 season is coming to an end and it is only a matter of time before the 2024 season starts with the Australian leg of the ATP tour.
Starting with the Australian Open, the tour will go on as usual. However, it is a different season for Rafa as he will be on farewell tour next season. Rafael Nadal has undoubtedly had one of the best careers in the history of the sport. With 22 Grand Slam titles, he holds the second most Grand Slam titles in men’s tennis, only behind Novak Djokovic, who has 24 of them.
Their rivalry was truly a demonstration of the best tennis from both sides of the net. However, ever since winning his 22nd Grand Slam title at the Australian Open 2022, where he defeated Daniil Medvedev, he has had quite a tough season. The Spaniard has been struggling with a hip injury for which he has been taking treatment.
A recent video of Nadal has shown that he has been getting back into the game. The Spaniard was seen practicing on the courts of the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca, Spain. The 37-year-old seemed to be moving in good condition. However, it is hard to say whether he is anywhere near his game before the injury. Nevertheless, he was seen training hoping for a commendable performance at the Australian Open, where he was the defending champion just this year.
The former World No. 1 was clear that the Australian Open 2024 will probably be his last event on the tour. However, he has often expressed interest in playing at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. He wished to do so especially in the doubles event alongside Carlos Alcaraz.
It's just inspiring to see a 37-year-old man still fighting after so many injuries… Go Rafa 💪💪 pic.twitter.com/FPwiDzTTfz— Luigi Gatto (@gigicat7_) November 9, 2023
Rafael Nadal reacts to Craig Tiley’s claims
The Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley was quick to claim that Rafael Nadal will be returning to the 2024 version of the tournament. The Spaniard made his final appearance on the ATP Tour at the 2023 Australian Open, where he was the defending champion. However, he has been plagued with injury since then, not being able to compete professionally.
Tiley, on the Today Show, confirmed Nadal’s participation, he said:
"We can reveal exclusively here that Rafa will be back. He's been off for most of the year, and talking to him over the last few days, he confirmed he will be back, which we're really excited about.
The Spaniard has two titles at Australia and has appeared in the final a total of six times. It is evident that the tournament director would like to have him back for one last time. It is also clear that the former World No. 1 would prefer to come back for one last time and not retire on the sidelines.
I appreciate the vote of confidence from the Australian Open. I am practicing every day and working hard to come back ASAP
Rafael Nadal had quite the response to this statement as he labeled the Australian Open director’s statement daring. The 14-time French Open champion is eying the Paris Olympics and Roalnd Garross 2024 as next season going to be his last. If we look at his history in Paris, this would be his best chance to win and retire on a high.
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