Rafael Nadal Set to Return to Tennis at Brisbane Tournament in January

Tennis great Rafael Nadal has announced his long-awaited return to the sport. He revealed that he will be making his comeback from injury at the Brisbane International in January, marking a significant moment for fans worldwide.

“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.”

Nadal’s last appearance was at the Australian Open in January, arriving as defending champion after claiming his 21st grand slam victory in 2022. Unfortunately, he was hindered by a hip issue and suffered a shock straight-sets defeat against American Mackenzie McDonald in the second round.

Initially expected to return later in the year, Nadal’s plans were delayed due to the necessity of hip surgery, which kept him out of action for the rest of the season. Despite his absence, he has been working hard on his recovery and has posted images and videos of himself on the court in recent weeks, creating heightened anticipation for his return to the court.

Nadal received medical attention during the match against McDonald in January. - Hannah Mckay/Reuters

Nadal received medical attention during the match against McDonald in January. – Hannah Mckay/Reuters

The Brisbane International, an ATP 250 event that serves as a warmup for the Australian Open, will symbolize the beginning of a new chapter for Nadal, who is expected to embark on his final year of competitive Tour tennis.

“My idea and my motivation is to try to enjoy and try to say goodbye to all the tournaments that have been important for me in my tennis career during [next] year, and just try to enjoy that, being competitive and enjoying being on the court, something that today is not possible,” he stated at a press conference in May, expressing his aspirations for the upcoming year.

It is widely believed that Nadal will make a grand slam return at the Australian Open. Craig Tiley, the tournament director and Tennis Australia CEO, had previously mentioned that Nadal would be part of the field at the 2024 edition of the competition, adding to the anticipation surrounding his return.

Nadal, a 22-time grand slam champion, faces the challenge of entering tournaments using either his injury-protected ranking or a wildcard entry due to his significant drop in the rankings as a result of his absence. Currently ranked 662nd in the world, Nadal has the tough task of working his way back up after falling out of the top ten earlier this year for the first time in 17 years.

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