In January, Rafael Nadal will resume his career in professional tennis after taking a year off, aiming for a successful conclusion to his esteemed legacy.
22-time grand slam champion Nadal has not participated in any competitions since the Australian Open in January due to a hip injury, where he was defeated in the second round by Mackenzie McDonald.
Nadal revealed in a video on X (formerly known as Twitter) that he will be making his comeback at the Brisbane International. He stated, “After being away from competing for a year, it’s time to return. I’ll be in Brisbane during the first week of January. Hope to see you there.”
The injury to Nadal’s hip became a major worry when it did not fully recover within the expected six to eight weeks. He ultimately decided to withdraw from the French Open, a tournament he has won 14 times, and underwent surgery using arthroscopy.
Unfortunately, Nadal has been plagued by numerous injuries throughout his career, with the most recent being a chronic foot injury that resurfaced during the Covid lockdowns. As a result, he has had difficulty maintaining good health for a sustained period of time.
Due to the impact of his injuries on his overall well-being, Nadal stated in May that he plans to retire from the tour in 2024. He hopes to bid farewell to the tournaments that have been significant in his career and simply relish in the competitive atmosphere and being on the court, which he is currently unable to do.
In September, Nadal expressed uncertainty about his 2024 season and what it may bring. At 37 years old, his main goal is to regain his competitive edge. While winning another major like Roland Garros may not be within reach, he understands that circumstances can change rapidly.
“I stated that 2024 will probably be my final year and I stand by that statement. However, I cannot guarantee it 100%. Even I am unsure,” he remarked.
Nadal’s performance and physical stamina will be major factors to consider in his upcoming matches in professional tennis. If it becomes apparent that he is no longer able to keep up, the Roland Garros Paris Games could serve as a suitable conclusion for the two-time Olympic gold medalist. However, given Nadal’s impressive accomplishments thus far, it is always possible for him to continue performing miracles.