Rafael Nadal gets brutally honest: 'Things will not be easy'

Rafael Nadal will return to action in January in Brisbane

by Jovica Ilic
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Rafael Nadal gets brutally honest: 'Things will not be easy'
© Cameron Spencer / Staff - Getty Images Sport

A 22-time Major champion Rafael Nadal is ready to compete again after missing almost the entire season due to an injury. Rafa will play at the Brisbane International in the first week of January, making a fresh start and understanding things could be different than before the injury.

After expecting the maximum from himself for two decades, Nadal is ready to accept the new circumstances and give himself enough time to find his A-game. Rafa is aware things could go wrong for him initially, and he is more than willing to accept that and work hard on his game if his body allows it.

The Spaniard hopes to reach the desired level in the near future and play competitive tennis, as always in the previous two decades. Nadal finished the 2022 season in the top-2 after winning two Major titles. However, he struggled with injuries since Wimbledon, losing form and not improving his game at the beginning of 2023.

Rafael Nadal is ready for a fresh start after missing an entire year.

Rafa made a winning start at the Australian Open before experiencing a severe hip injury against Mackenzie McDonald. The veteran revealed a Grade 2 iliopsoas and underwent arthroscopic surgery in June, missing the rest of the season.

Nadal enjoyed his first free summer in decades, traveling with his family and friends before returning to the practice court. Starting from the beginning, Rafa left the injury behind, raising the level of his training sessions and feeling more confident about his comeback.

After a couple of successful months of training, the Spaniard scheduled his long-awaited return to Brisbane, entering the ATP 250 event ahead of the Australian Open. Nadal is ranked outside the top-600 for the first time in two decades, putting himself in a position of potentially tough draws and challenging rivals right from the first round.

"I have internalized what I have had throughout my life, which is to demand from myself the maximum. Right now, I hope not to do that. Things will be difficult at the beginning, and I have to accept that. I have to give myself the necessary time and forgive myself if things go wrong initially, which is likely to happen.

However, things can change in the not-too-distant future, which should be the case if I keep the dream and the working spirit. If my body responds well, that will happen," Rafael Nadal said.

Rafael Nadal
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