Watch: Rafael Nadal trains with 17-year-old

Rafael Nadal is preparing for the new season at home in Mallorca

by Jovica Ilic
Watch: Rafael Nadal trains with 17-year-old
© Video screenshot

Rafael Nadal is working hard on his comeback, training at home in Mallorca before heading to Kuwait. Rafa invited the 17-year-old Frenchman Gabriel Debru to train with him, continuing his preparations for the first event of the 2024 season in Brisbane.

Debru gained over 300 positions on the ATP ranking list in 2023, hoping for more in 2024 and learning a lot from a 22-time Major champion. After not playing since January, Nadal will return to action in a couple of weeks, entering the ATP 250 event in Brisbane ahead of the Australian Open.

Rafa is looking good on the practice court, leaving a severe hip injury behind and hoping for a fresh start after the most extended break of his career. Nadal has been working hard for the last couple of months, eager to extend his incredible tennis journey.

Rafa will travel to Kuwait and train at his tennis complex before heading to Australia.

Rafael Nadal trains at home ahead of a long-awaited comeback.

Nadal finished the previous season ranked 2nd despite bad luck in the second part.

Things went from bad to worse for the Spaniard at the beginning of 2023, playing only four matches and dropping out from the top-600 for the first time in two decades! Nadal experienced an abdominal injury at Wimbledon 2022, embracing only 13 encounters in the previous 17 months.

Rafa wished for a fresh start in 2023, but it did not happen. He lost three out of four matches and experienced a massive blow in Melbourne, injuring his left hip and missing the rest of the season! The Spaniard fell to Cameron Norrie and Alex de Minaur at the United Cup despite taking the opening set, heading to Melbourne without form or confidence.

The defending Australian Open champion gave his everything at Melbourne Park despite knowing how slim his chances were. Rafa beat Jack Draper in four sets in the first round, setting the clash against Mackenzie McDonald. Nadal experienced an agonizing left hip injury in the second set's closing stages, refusing to retire but hitting the exit door after losing serve late in the third set, suffering his worst Major loss since 2016.

The Spaniard revealed a Grade 2 iliopsoas, underwent surgery a few months later and missed the rest of the season to recover. Rafa slowly returned to the practice court after enjoying the summer with his family and friends, starting from the beginning and raising his level.

The veteran is ready to play competitive tennis again, announcing his return for the start of the year in Brisbane and testing his body ahead of the Australian Open.

Rafael Nadal