Rafael Nadal thought it was "a bit daring" from Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley to confirm his presence in Melbourne but highlighted that he has no hard feelings toward Tiley or the tournament. Earlier this month, Tiley announced Nadal's Australian Open participation was guaranteed.
Nadal hasn't played since January and he also had surgery on his psoas muscle in June. "We can reveal exclusively here that Rafa will be back. He's been off for most of the year, and in talking to him over the last few days, he confirmed he will be back, which we're really excited about, the champion of 2022.
That's awesome," Tiley said on Nine Network's 'The Today Show' on October 11th.
Nadal on Tiley's comments
Tiley's announcement quickly went viral as many were thrilled to report that Nadal's Australian Open participation was a sure thing.
But then, Nadal's PR issued a statement, in which he made it pretty clear that Nadal was still not sure if he would be able to play at Melbourne Park in January. Nadal himself addresses the matter on X, stating that he is hoping to play at the Australian Open but nothing more than that.
"It was a bit daring. I have a very good relationship with him and I understand his excitement and also that of the Australian Open, which is surely less than the excitement I have about going there. But from there to saying that I am going to be at the Australian Open seems very complicated to say today.
In fact, I don't know and I'm working to try to recover. Therefore, my way of understanding my moment is that I do not need dates, but rather I need to simply work day by day with enthusiasm and with the right mentality to try to recover," Nadal told EFE.
Nadal is training and practicing regularly and he remains hopeful that he will be able to compete at the Australian Open in January.