Having been out of action since January this year, Rafael Nadal is set to make his comeback at the Brisbane International, which commences on December 31. The Spaiard hurt his hip flexor during a second round defeat in the Australian Open and then just before the start of the French Open in May, he announced that he would miss the Grand Slam event, without giving a return date.
In December this year, the 37-year-old took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to announce his return, and also hinted that this could be swansong final ATP campaign.
The Brisbane International will also see Nadal begin his preparations for the upcoming 2024 Australian Open. Commenting on whether he could win the Brisbane International, he said, “It’s impossible to think about winning tournaments today. What’s really possible is to enjoy the comeback. I don’t expect much; one year without being on the court.”
When asked if 2024 would be his swansong year, Nadal said, “I can’t have super long-term goals because I don’t see myself playing a super long time. I don’t know how things are going to keep going. I’m not a player who tries to predict what can happen in the short term, and it’s even tougher in the medium period of time. I need to accept the adversity and that it’s not going to be perfect, just come with the right spirit every day.”
Nadal has been ranked world No. 1 in singles by the ATP for 209 weeks and has finished as year-end No. 1 five times. The veteran also boasts 22 Grand Slam men’s singles titles, which consists of a record haul of 14 French Open trophies. He has won 92 ATP singles titles, including 36 Masters titles, with 63 of these on clay courts. He is one of the only two men to complete the Career Golden Slam in singles, and his 81 consecutive victories on clay is the longest single-surface win streak in the Open Era.
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