Countdown! Rafael Nadal, to hell and back!

The Spanish champion stands for come back on court: what we should and can expect

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Countdown! Rafael Nadal, to hell and back!
© Bradley Kanaris / Stringer Getty Images Sport

The countdown has begun for Rafael Nadal's come back on the court. The Spanish champion is clearly one of the most anticipated stars of this new season. Fans of the 22-time Slam champion will be able to see him and - this is a novelty in the last few hours - as well as to play the ATP 250 in Brisbane in singles, he will play also in doubles, where he will team up with Marc Lopez.

As soon as he landed in Australia, Nadal had already confided his first feelings about his imminent return to the courts that made him great. The former ATP No.1, who will meet his first opponent in Brisbane in the next few hours, gave a long interview in which he spoke about his expectations after a year-long absence: "I feel much better now than I expected a month ago, it's impossible for me to complain and I want to enjoy my return to the court.

I don't expect much from myself at a competitive level because I haven't competed in a year and that's a lot. I am aware that it will be a difficult process at the beginning and, at the moment, the only thing I can aspire to is to give everything I have on the pitch and feel competitive.

I've only been training intensely for a month, for me it's a victory just to be here. I miss the feeling of competing and enjoying the challenge."

To Hell and back: Rafael Nadal comes back to play an official match!

Nadal hadn't been away from the Tour that long: "I've been doing it almost all my life, so it's impossible not to miss the feeling of competing, of jumping on a court full of fans and traveling to the best tournaments in the world.

Perhaps what I miss most is the feeling of being ready to compete and enjoy the challenge. The way I have to go through this process is to embrace adversity and accept that things aren't going to go perfectly right from the start.

The main thing is to maintain the right attitude and work ethic every day, because my goal is to become more and more competitive as the season goes on," he explained. What should and can we expect from Nadal's come back? Just seeing him back on the court will be a moment of great emotion for all tennis fans.

A legend like the Spaniard wrote the history of sport, not just tennis. The affection from the fans was incredible. We must expect the best from Rafa, or rather, the Spaniard will certainly give his best. For himself and for his fans and for tennis.

What can we expect? We can hope to see him compete with the greatest champions, during the course of the season. Starting already with Australian Swing?

Rafael Nadal