Australian Open boss Craig Tiley issues bold 2025 prediction about Rafael Nadal

Tiley reacts to Nadal being forced to skip the Australian Open due to injury.

by Dzevad Mesic
Australian Open boss Craig Tiley issues bold 2025 prediction about Rafael Nadal
© Getty Images Sport - Graham Denholm

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley has issued a very interesting and bold prediction about Rafael Nadal as he is "absolutely planning" on seeing the Spaniard at Melbourne Park in 2025. 

On Sunday, the Australian Open organizers suffered a major blow when Nadal announced he was out of the tournament due to a muscle tear injury sustained at the Brisbane International. Now that Nadal is set to miss the Australian Open, there are some justified fears that the Spaniard may never again compete at Melbourne Park, considering his retirement plans. 

In his pre-tournament press conference in Brisbane, Nadal underlined that the 2024 season will indeed "probably" be his last year in pro tennis. However, Nadal didn't completely shut the doors on playing beyond 2024 but noted that he would need to stay healthy and feel great for him to consider that.

"Yes. I'm absolutely planning on seeing him next year," Tiley told Australian media when asked if he expects Nadal back to the Australian Open next year.

Craig Tiley and Rafael Nadal
Craig Tiley and Rafael Nadal© Getty Images Sport - Daniel Pockett

Tiley hopes Nadal returns to the Australian Open in 2025, at least in some capacity

In his message, Tiley revealed that he was about to meet with Nadal in private and ask him about the chances of him playing again at Melbourne Park in 2025 or at least returning in some capacity - for example as a special guest.

"But there's no question that I think that Rafa's the kind of player that as long as he's fit and he feels like he's healthy and he can play, he'll be out there playing," Tiley said.

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal© Getty Images Sport - Mark Kolbe

Nadal, the 2022 Australian Open champion, lost injured in the 2023 Australian Open second round and he won't be able to compete at the tournament this year. Tiley will pitch Nadal on the claim that he has got "unfinished business" in Melbourne.

"I think the pitch to Rafa is that he has got unfinished business in Melbourne," Tiley said.

Australian Open Craig Tiley Rafael Nadal