Rafael Nadal is confident he will return to action, after missing almost all of 2023 with a hip injury that required surgery. And now he says he will soon reveal his comeback plans.
Nadal wrote on social media on Thursday: “I confirmed yesterday that I will be back. » “Stay tuned,” he continued in an Instagram post in which we can see a photo of him about to perform a backhand shot. Nadal indicated that in the coming days he would announce when and where he will return to play.
The next season will begin at the end of December. Main draw matches at the first major tournament of the year, the Australian Open, begin on January 14.
“For the tennis world, it’s definitely great news that he’s back,” Novak Djokovic said at the ATP Finals in Turin, Italy.
Nadal, whose 22 Grand Slam men’s singles titles rank him second in history behind Djokovic’s 24, has not played on the ATP Tour since last January, when he injured a hip flexor in a loss to Mackenzie McDonald in the second round of the Australian Open.
In May, just over a week before the start of the French Open, Nadal announced he would miss the event he has won a record 14 times. He added that he did not know exactly when he would be able to return to the game.
He then mentioned that he hoped to return to competition in 2024, which he said would be his last season. “You never know how things will go,” Nadal said during a press conference at the time. But my intention is that next year will be my last. »
He finally underwent an arthroscopy in June in Barcelona.
Since the end of 2022, the 37-year-old Spaniard has played nine matches and lost seven. He has shown a record of 1-3 this season.
Since Roger Federer, winner of 20 majors, announced his retirement in 2022, and Nadal missed much of this year, Djokovic is the only member of the “Big Three” of men’s tennis who has been active throughout. 2023.
The 36-year-old Serbian has also dominated, particularly during the Grand Slam tournaments. He won the Australian Open, the French Open and the US Open, in addition to reaching the final at Wimbledon.
“I think it would be good for the sport if there was at least one more match between Nadal and me. It is the greatest rivalry in terms of number of matches played in the history of the sport. I hope it can happen, Djokovic stressed. He is a great warrior. He is truly someone who never gives up. With all the injuries he has suffered, he continues. That’s definitely something you have to respect and admire about him, with his competitive spirit. »