Brisbane organizers show big respect for Rafael Nadal with this move

Nadal set to return to action at the Brisbane International, which starts on December 31st.

by Dzevad Mesic
Brisbane organizers show big respect for Rafael Nadal with this move
© Getty Images Sport - Chris Hyde

Rafael Nadal won't have to use one of his protected ranking spots for the Brisbane International after the tournament organizers decided to give a main draw wildcard to the Spaniard. Nadal, currently ranked at No 664 in the world, was ranked at No 6 when he last played at the 2023 Australian Open.

Since Nadal hasn't played for over six months, he has met the criteria to be given a protected ranking and he can play up to nine tournaments in 2023 using a protected ranking of No 6. For now, Nadal is signed up to compete at the Brisbane International and the Australian Open.

Nadal was given a main draw wildcard for Brisbane but he remains entered in the Australian Open via a protected ranking.

Nadal on returning to tennis

Ahead of his comeback, Nadal admitted that he waited with his announcement because he didn't want to promise something and later not be able to fulfill it. "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. I expect from myself not to expect anything.

This is the truth. To have the ability not to demand of myself what I have demanded of myself throughout my career. I believe I'm in a different moment, in a different situation and in unexplored terrain. I have internalised what I have had throughout my life, which is to demand of myself the maximum.

Right now what I really hope is to be able not to do that, not to demand the maximum, to accept that things are going to be very difficult at the beginning and to give myself the necessary time and forgive myself if things go wrong at the beginning, which is a very big possibility," Nadal said in a video uploaded on his X account on Monday.

Rafael Nadal Brisbane International