Nadal to stage return in Brisbane

Rafael Nadal

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Rafael Nadal has confirmed that he will make his return to the sport at the Brisbane International, holding in January. The 2023 season did not fare well for Nadal after he last saw action at the Australian Open, where he suffered a hip injury leading to a second-round defeat. This absence marked the longest break in Nadal’s career, prompting speculation about the future of the 22-time Grand Slam champion.

In a video shared on social media, Nadal expressed his eagerness to get back on the court after a challenging period of rehabilitation. Nadal is expected to use Brisbane International, which is happening for the first time since 2021, to prepare for the Australian Open, which starts on January 14.

Australian Open chief Craig Tiley earlier confirmed the Spaniard’s participation in the tournament. Despite his significant drop to 633 in the world rankings, Nadal’s illustrious career ensures he retains eligibility for a protected ranking due to his extended injury-related absence.

The announcement comes amid speculation about Nadal’s retirement plans. In June, Nadal underwent surgery, and the 2024 season is expected to be pivotal in determining the trajectory of his career. Nadal, who had previously hinted at retirement at the end of the 2024 season, faces the challenge of returning to peak form.

By the end of the 2024 season, Nadal is expected to be sure about his status in the sport. By then, it would be clear if he wants to retire or if he still has fire for one more season. At age 37, clocking 38 next year, Nadal could confidently retire and be one of the greatest players to ever grace the game, with a barrage of accolades and achievements to back it up.

For now, however, we look forward to his return in Brisbane and what he has to offer us after a long time away.

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