Rafael Nadal is working hard on the court to speed up his come back. There is no official date yet, although the Spanish champion announced a few days ago on Instagram that he would soon reveal where and when he would finally return to the court.
Nadal wants to play the Australian Open 2024 and to get there he has a plan to approach what seems destined to be his last season on the circuit. Rafa is continuing with his rehabilitation process from the iliopsoas injury, an injury that has kept him off the courts for the whole of 2023.
According to some statements by the director of the Australian Open, Craig Tiley - however denied by the Spanish champion himself - his participation in the first Slam of the year would be practically certain. But where could he play? According to Cadena SER, the Spaniard's goal is to reach the 2024 Australian Open with a few matches played, avoiding taking to the court for the first time in a year in a fortnight tournament and in the best of five sets.
In the first fifteen days of December, Rafa will travel to Kuwait, where one of the headquarters of his Academy is located. There, in addition to taking part in some promotional events, he will train to test weather conditions and temperatures similar to those of Melbourne.
After spending Christmas with his family and resting for several weeks in Spain, Rafa should then move to Australia to face the first Swing of the year.
Rafael Nadal will try to get the best from the Australia Swing
His preparation for the Australian Open could then include participation in a preparatory tournament, and the choice of the ATP 250 in Brisbane, which would allow him to have an intermediate week before playing in Melbourne.
But after this premise, there is a question I would like to ask. Will Rafael Nadal have a chance to win the 2024 edition of the Australian Open? We don't know what the Spaniard's real physical condition is and, fundamentally, everything will depend on this.
It remains to be seen whether the positive signals of the last few days are greater than the negative ones of a few weeks ago. To be clear, for example, when Rafa had denied Tiley about participating in the Australian Open, effectively raising doubts about whether he would actually come back.
Recovering from a serious injury like the one he suffered at the 2023 Australian Open will not be easy. However, there is a note to add: if Rafa chose to return to play, he did so because he knows he can be competitive. Winning the Australian Open for him - in my opinion - today would be extremely complicated, but in a month everything can change.