Watch: Rafael Nadal trains with Arthur Fils in Kuwait

Rafael Nadal is preparing for the start of 2024

by Jovica Ilic
Watch: Rafael Nadal trains with Arthur Fils in Kuwait
© Video screenshot

A 22-time Major winner Rafael Nadal has been training at his tennis complex in Kuwait, preparing for the start of 2024. Rafa invited the young Frenchman Arthur Fils to spend a week with him, offering the upcoming star a chance to learn much from him.

Fils finished the season inside the top-40, standing as the top-ranked player born in 2004. Arthur had entered 2023 with no ATP wins by his name. He kicked off the action with a Challenger title before reaching two ATP semi-finals.

Fils lifted his first ATP trophy in Lyon in May, becoming the first player of his generation with an ATP crown. The young gun lost the Astana final in October before reaching the Next Gen ATP Finals title clash, falling to Hamad Medjedovic.

On the other hand, Nadal missed almost an entire season, injuring his left hip in the second round of the Australian Open and spending the rest of the year away from the court. At 36, Rafa experienced one of the most challenging setbacks of his career, undergoing surgery in June and returning to the practice court.

After giving his everything in the gym and during the practice sessions, Nadal will compete again in the first week of 2024, entering the ATP 250 event in Brisbane alongside Holger Rune, Grigor Dimitrov and Ben Shelton. Nadal claimed two Major titles in 2022 despite injuries, conquering the Australian Open and Roland Garros for the first time in a career and leaving Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer behind.

However, the Spaniard suffered an abdominal injury at Wimbledon, reaching the semi-final but withdrawing ahead of the Nick Kyrgios clash. Nadal has played only 13 matches since August 2022, experiencing disappointments and dropping out from the top-600 after over two decades!

Rafa traveled to Australia in December 2022 with no confidence, starting the season behind us with two United Cup losses from a set up.

Rafael Nadal and Arthur Fils are training in Kuwait.

The defending Australian Open champion gave everything in Melbourne despite his slim chances, beating Jack Draper in the first round.

Nadal met Mackenzie McDonald in round two and fell in straight sets, experiencing his earliest Major loss since 2016! To make things worse, Rafa injured his left hip in the closing stages of the second set, battling hard in the third but hitting the exit door.

Nadal revealed a Grade 2 iliopsoas and underwent arthroscopic surgery in June, missing the rest of the season and jeopardizing his career. Rafa enjoyed his first relaxed summer without tennis in decades, traveling with his family and friends.

Eager to make one last push, Nadal hit the gym and the practice court, raising his level and beginning to think about his comeback. The Spaniard scheduled his long-awaited return to Brisbane, entering the ATP 250 event and testing his body and form ahead of the Australian Open.

Nadal is aware of his position and possible tough draws at every tournament. Still, he is ready to give it a go and enjoy what could be his last professional season, eager to end his glorious career on his terms.

Rafael Nadal Arthur Fils