Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley reveals Rafael Nadal didn't want to commit to playing the Australian Open earlier because he didn't want to "let his fans down" in case he wasn't ready to compete in Melbourne.
On October 11th, Tiley announced Nadal would return to the 2024 Australian Open. The news made all the tennis headlines but then Nadal's PR and the Spaniard himself issued a statement, in which they said it wasn't guaranteed that the 22-time Grand Slam champion would certainly be able to play at Melbourne Park in 2024.
Last Friday, Nadal shared a video, in which he announced he would be returning to tennis in Brisbane and then also competing at the Australian Open.
Tiley on why Nadal took his with confirming his Australian Open participation
"It's fun talking to Rafa, that's why this job is great ...
what a beautiful person. He was most concerned that he wasn't going to be ready to play; he didn't want to commit to playing and let his fans down by then having to pull out. He's healthy, he's practising well, he's playing like Rafa plays and going all out.
It took a while to make the announcement simply because he wanted to make sure he was going to be able to come and play," Tiley said, via The West Australian. On Monday, Nadal uploaded another video on his social media, in which he admitted that he was "afraid to announce things." "I have been afraid to announce things because in the end it's a year without competing and it's a hip operation.
But what worries me the most is not the hip, it's everything else. I think I'm ready, and I trust and hope that things go well and that it gives me the opportunity to enjoy myself on the court," Nadal said in a video uploaded on Monday. Nadal's comeback will officially start at the Brisbane International, which kicks off on December 31st.