World No. 6 Rafael Nadal has not played a competitive match since he lost in the 3rd round of the 2021 Washington Open. The defeat also made things worse for his foot which he had injured during his semi-final run at the 2021 French Open and was forced to miss the Tokyo Olympics and the grass season because of the injury.
The plan to skip the Olympics and grass season was to remain fit for the US Open series and try to qualify for yet another ATP Finals but things did not go as per plan and the Spaniard was forced to end his season after his short stay in Washington. He has since then rested enough and has resumed practice once again as he now prepares for the 2022 season.
With the 2022 ATP Calendar announced a few days ago, Rafa’s fans were waiting for the official confirmation on where would the Spaniard be playing next. The wait is however now over as Nadal is set to begin his season at the ATP-250 event in Melbourne that is set to begin from 4th January in Melbourne Park.
This announcement comes days later after the Spaniard had announced his withdrawal from the 2022 ATP Cup that will begin from the 1st of January in Sydney. Nadal planned to skip the 9-day long tournament in order to remain fit for the 2022 Australian Open and wanted to keep the Spanish team fully fit in case he injured himself again playing during the ATP Cup which would affect the team and him both as he would have been a very important player.
Rafael Nadal to chase his 21st Grand Slam and 2nd title at the Australian Open
Nadal will be back in tennis action soon in Abu Dhabi when he takes the court in the 3-day exhibition tournament, the Mubadala World Tennis Championship where he is the defending champion and a 5-time winner. The tournament is scheduled from 16th to 19th December.
With Roger Federer confirmed absent from the 2022 Australian Open and Novak Djokovic’s participation doubtful, Nadal will be aiming for the record breaking 21st Grand Slam and his 2nd title at the Rod Laver Arena where he won his first and only title at the 2009 Australian Open.