Rafael Nadal is ready to compete again at the beginning of 2024! A 22-time Major winner has been training well at home in Mallorca for the last couple of months, improving his physical shape following a nasty hip injury that ruined his season.
The veteran has not played since the Australian Open, and he should be ready to hit the court again in the first week of 2024, most likely in Brisbane. Rafa will travel to his tennis complex in Kuwait in December, staying there for a few weeks before embracing a trip Down Under.
Plagued with injuries in the last couple of years, Rafa remained competitive, claiming two Major titles in 2022 and leaving Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic behind. However, an abdominal injury at Wimbledon ruined his progress, ending Nadal's year-end no.
1 chances and making him vulnerable at the beginning of 2023. Nadal experienced a massive blow this January, staying away from the court for almost a year and thinking about retirement.
Rafael Nadal will return to action in January.
However, he embraced surgery and spent the summer with his family and friends before starting training again. Encouraged by the positive signs, the Spaniard is ready to make a fresh start in a few weeks, eager to end his career on his terms after a glorious run over the previous two decades.
Rafa stood alone with 22 Major titles following the 2022 Roland Garros. However, things went from bad to worse for him since then, suffering two severe injuries and playing only 13 matches in the previous 15 months! Nadal hurt his abdominal muscle at Wimbledon, struggling to serve and withdrawing ahead of the semi-final.
It remains Nadal's last great run a year and a half later, playing only a few tournaments and collecting a couple of wins. Rafa is ranked outside the top-600 for the first time in two decades, keeping only the points from this year's Australian Open.
Instead of a fresh start in 2023, Nadal lost both matches at the United Cup despite taking the opening set, falling to Cameron Norrie and Alex de Minaur. The defending Australian Open champion gave his everything to play competitive tennis in Melbourne, trying to defend the title despite knowing it was impossible.
Rafa beat Jack Draper before falling to Mackenzie McDonald in the second round. Rafa experienced an agonizing left hip injury in the second set, refusing to retire but hitting the exit door after losing serve late in the third set.
The Spaniard revealed a Grade 2 iliopsoas, underwent surgery a few months later and missed the rest of the season. Rafa slowly returned to the practice court, starting from the beginning and raising the level of his training sessions.
The veteran is ready to play competitive tennis again, entering the season's opening week and testing his body ahead of the Australian Open.