Rafael Nadal Plots Return to Tennis in Brisbane

Rafael Nadal will return to professional tennis in January after a one-year break to find a fitting end to his legendary career.

Nadal, a 22-time Grand Slam champion, has not competed since the Australian Open in January, where he lost in the second round to Mackenzie McDonald because of a hip issue.

In a video on X (formerly Twitter), Nadal announced that he will be returning to the Brisbane International. “After a year of not competing, it’s time to come back. It will be in Brisbane in the first week of January. I’ll see you there,” he said.

Nadal’s hip issue became a major problem after he failed to recover sufficiently after the initial prognosis of a six-to eight-week layoff. Nadal finally announced his withdrawal from the French Open, where he is a 14-time champion, and underwent arthroscopic surgery.

The issue was the recent in a seemingly endless list in Nadal’s career. Since the recent times break, in which periods of confinement led to the recurrence of his chronic foot issue, Nadal has struggled to stay fit for an extended period of time.

Since the mental and body toll of his issue also affected his overall happiness, Nadal announced in May that 2024 would likely be his last year on the tour. “My idea, my motivation is to try to say goodbye to all the tournaments that have been important to me in my career, and just enjoy being competitive and being on the court, which is not possible nowadays,” he said.

However, by September, Nadal was more uncertain about what his 2024 season might bring. The 37-year-old said his main motivation was to “be competitive” again, but although winning Roland Garros or any other major title seems unlikely at the moment, he is well aware of how quickly things can change.

“I said 2024 will probably be my last year and I stand by that. But I can’t confirm it 100%. Even I don’t know,” he said.

For Nadal, the big questions will be how well he plays and how his body can withstand the rigors of professional tennis again. If it is clear that he can no longer compete, the Paris Games at Roland Garros are a perfect exit ramp for the two-time Olympic champion. But after everything Nadal has achieved in his career, a few more miracles can never be ruled out.

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