Rafael Nadal will be returning to the court after a 12-month hiatus.
He will be playing in the Brisbane International in January.
He is still planning to retire in 2024, but he is not 100% sure yet.
In an Instagram post, Toni Nadal, the uncle of Rafael Nadal, the 22-time Grand Slam champion, praised his nephew’s eagerly anticipated comeback and offered him support.
In a brief video that was uploaded on social media on December 1st, Rafa revealed that he would be returning to the court after a 12-month hiatus at the Brisbane International in January.
Rafa’s 37-year-old return will undoubtedly be the hardest, but Toni—who has also coached Rafa in the past—expressed his excitement about it and promised the Spaniard will not let him down.
“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 captioned his Instagram post (translated from Spanish).
Nadal, who made his debut at the Australian Open in 2022 but missed a year due to a hip injury, confirmed his return on December 1.
“After a year away from competition, it’s time to come back,” Nadal said in a video posted on multiple social media platforms Friday. “It will be in Brisbane the first week of January, I will see you there.”
In the same video, the Spaniard also added a small clip from his previous press conference where he stated that he doesn’t deserve to end his career like this.
“I don’t think I deserve to end like this. I have worked hard so that my end is not here, in a press conference. I am going to work hard to finish my career the right way,” he said.
It is noteworthy that Nadal, who is presently ranked World No. 663, dropped out of the top 10 rankings for the first time in his brilliant career at the age of 20.
In September, Rafa stated candidly at a talk program in his hometown that he had no intention of going back to contend for any major titles.
“Yes, I would like to play again and be competitive again, but the dream is not to come back and win Roland Garros or win Australia, so that people don’t get confused, right?” Nadal said in September.
“I am very aware that at the time I am in my life, all that is very far away, right? And I don’t say it’s impossible because in the end I say things, I have said it a thousand times, all things in sport, they change very quickly,” he added.
He also discussed his retirement plan for 2024, stating that it is still his objective.
“I said that possibly 2024 was my last year, I maintain that, but I cannot confirm it 100% because I do not know,” the 22-time Grand Slam triumphant added.