Rafael Nadal's brutally realistic take on his Brisbane title chances

Nadal's comeback set to officially start in Brisbane.

by Dzevad Mesic
Rafael Nadal's brutally realistic take on his Brisbane title chances
© Getty Images Sport - Bradley Kanaris

Rafael Nadal has downplayed expectations ahead of his return as the former world No. 1 believes it is "impossible" to think about lifting titles at the moment. 

This week, 22-time Grand Slam champion Nadal landed in Brisbane, where he will play his first tournament since the Australian Open. Even though Nadal was out for 12 months and had hip surgery in June, Australia's Alexei Popyrin tipped the 37-year-old Spaniard to go all the way in Brisbane.

“It’s impossible to think about winning tournaments today. What’s really possible is to enjoy the comeback. I don’t expect much — one year without being on the court," Nadal said during his pre-tournament press conference. 

Nadal not making any long-term prediction

Talking to the media, Nadal repeated once again that 2024 will likely be his last year in pro tennis and revealed that fitness-wise he "much better than what I expected a month ago." However, Nadal also underlined that he just can't be making any long-term predictions or setting any long-term goals.

“I can’t have super long-term goals because I don’t see myself playing a super long time. I don’t know how things are going to keep going. I’m not a player who tries to predict what can happen in the short term, and it’s even tougher in the medium period of time. I need to accept the adversity and that it's not going to be perfect, just come with the right spirit every day," Nadal explained.

After making his Brisbane debut in 2017, Nadal is set for his second appearance at the Australian tournament. In his first and lone Brisbane appearance, Nadal reached the quarterfinal before losing to Milos Raonic. 

Considering that Nadal hasn't played in 12 months, it is expected that he will feel rusty in his return. But for now, the main thing for Nadal is to stay healthy and be competitive. 

Rafael Nadal