Rafael Nadal confirms comeback and first tournament ahead of Australian Open 2024

The 22-time major champion has not played a competitive match since the 2023 edition of the year’s first grand slam

Jack Rathborn
Friday 01 December 2023 13:27 GMT
<p>APTOPIX Australian Open Tennis</p>

APTOPIX Australian Open Tennis

Rafael Nadal has confirmed his latest comeback from injury ahead of the Australian Open 2024.

The 22-time grand slam champion will return to the court at the Brisbane International in the first week of January.

The Spaniard has confirmed his schedule after weeks of speculation, with Australian Open chief Craig Tiley confident he would see the 37-year-old back at Melbourne Park in January.

Nadal has not played a competitive match since bowing out in the second round of this year’s edition of the grand slam, with his hip flexor problem costing him most of the 2023 season.

Nadal said: “Hello everyone, after a year away from competition, it's time to come back. It will be in Brisbane the first week of January. I'll see you there.”

The ATP 250 event, held at the Queensland Tennis Centre, will begin on 31 December and conclude on 7 January, with the first slam of the calendar year at Melbourne Park beginning on 14 December.

Nadal’s hip injury suffered during his second-round defeat by Mackenzie McDonald at the Australian Open in January was initially set to take him out of action for just a few weeks.

But Nadal later admitted in May that he was staring at the end of his career and that he hoped to be able to play a final year on tour in 2024, with surgery in June ending his 2023 season.

In the 2022 final against Daniil Medvedev, Nadal became the first man in the Open era to comeback from two sets down to win the title.

Rafael Nadal has not played since the Australian Open in January

Nadal has expressed a desire to play one more French Open and represent Spain at the Paris Olympics next year before retiring at the end of his 23rd season on the tour.

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