Rafael Nadal had to contend with a chronic foot injury for much of 2021. The Spanish star played the pittance of seven official tournaments this year and played his last match last August. After his premature elimination in the Washington tournament, the former world number 1 has decided to end his season well in advance.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion has been back in training for a few weeks and is expected to return to the field at the Abu Dhabi exhibition next month. The 35-year-old from Manacor has already confirmed his participation in the Australian Open 2022, which kicks off on January 17 in Melbourne Park.
Tournament director Craig Tiley has announced that the capacity will be 100%, which is very good news given the atmosphere in the Happy Slam every year. It's been three months since we last saw Rafa in action and fans are wondering what his condition is like.
During a ceremony held in Madrid a few days ago, Nadal provided some updates on his rehabilitation process.
Nadal on his future goal
Talking about his future goal, Rafael Nadal said, “My goal right now is to prepare myself in the best possible way in every way for when I am ready to arrive and be able to be competitive”.
However, the former World No. 1 is aware of the complex process. He added, ” I know it is going to be a complicated process because they are many months but I am with the utmost enthusiasm and that is what has to lead me to have options next year”.
Despite his foot injury, Nadal seems to be enthusiastic about his return to the tennis court. In a conversation with L'Equipe, Nadal said he has been keeping himself informed about Peng Shuai's situation. The Mallorcan revealed that he does not have "all the information" on the matter, but stressed the importance of Peng's safety.
"I am following the news and reading the articles about Peng Shuai. Even though I don't have all the information, the most important thing in this case is to know she is okay," Rafael Nadal said. "All of us in the tennis family hope to see her with us soon."
Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of the Global Times, recently posted a couple of videos on Twitter in which Peng is seen enjoying a meal with her coach and friends. However, many people on Twitter feel the video is either staged or from an earlier date.