Rafael Nadal shares message after practice session with Emil Ruusuvuori

Nadal practiced with Ruusuvuori ahead of his comeback.

by Dzevad Mesic
Rafael Nadal shares message after practice session with Emil Ruusuvuori
© Getty Images Sport - Quinn Rooney

Rafael Nadal continues to work on getting ready for his comeback as the former world No 1 thanked Emil Ruusuvuori for being his latest practice partner. Nadal, a 22-time Grand Slam champion, is returning to tennis in the first week of the new season at the Brisbane International.

After spending a week of training with Arthur Fils in Kuwait, Nadal returned home, where he has continued with his preparations for his comeback. Nadal's latest practice hit was 69th-ranked Ruusuvuori. "We continue with the training and thanks @EmilRuusuvuori for the practice," Nadal wrote on X.

Coach on Nadal's return

After concluding their Kuwait trip, coach Carlos Moya revealed that Nadal looked much better than expected during his training block with Fils.

"He obviously knows that now he himself is still not at his best level, but that little by little he is going to acquire it. That's part of our job too. These days in Kuwait we have trained with Fils, and the truth is that it was very good, much better than he could have expected.

Rafa came there thinking that he was not going to be competitive, that he was not going to be up to the task and he leaves convinced that he may be," Moya told ATP Tour Espanol. Nadal may be looking great in practice but Moya admits he has certain concerns how things will look when the 37-year-old returns to playing actual matches. "Rafa's going to go from training, which he's doing very well, to competing.

It's impossible to have the same conditions in training as in a match. Playing the best of five sets, win, rest, return to court two days later ... That's the doubt I have right now, especially for a grand slam. But we have time.

If the Australian Open started tomorrow, it would be a real fear. There's still a month left, a tournament before in Brisbane, demanding training ... I think all of this will put him in a position to be able to endure it. But now that's my fear," Moya said.

Rafael Nadal Emil Ruusuvuori