Australian Open boss reveals what Rafael Nadal told him during private conversation

Craig Tiley met with Nadal after the Spaniard pulled out of the Australian Open.

by Dzevad Mesic
Australian Open boss reveals what Rafael Nadal told him during private conversation
© Getty Images Sport - Graham Denholm

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley claims Rafael Nadal absolutely didn't shut the doors on the idea of playing at Melbourne Park next year, indicating that he would be willing to come and play if healthy and feeling well. 

After sustaining an injury to his psoas muscle at the 2023 Australian Open and then missing the remainder of the 2023 season, Nadal made a comeback to tennis in the first week of the new season at the Brisbane International. In Brisbane, Nadal got off to an outstanding start, having won two matches in straight sets, but then suffered a surprise quarterfinal defeat to Jordan Thompson while dealing with a left leg issue. 

After Brisbane, Nadal went to Melbourne, where his plan was to undergo scans and see if he would be able to play at the Australian Open. Unfortunately, the scan results weren't the best as Nadal withdrew from the Australian Open after finding out that he suffered a micro tear on his muscle. 

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal© Getty Images Sport - Chris Hyde

Before Nadal departed Melbourne and returned to Spain, Australian Open boss Tiley had a meeting with the Spaniard, during which he tried his best to persuade the Spaniard to return to the tournament next year.

Tiley on what Nadal told him

"He will be ready hopefully in February and I wish him well. I just told him we're looking forward to see him in January 2025. He didn't say no [to playing in Melbourne next year]. His reaction was, 'If I'm playing, feeling good and not injured, I'll be back,'" Tiley said on The AO Show.

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

In the same interview, Tiley acknowledged that Nadal was "disappointed" over being forced to miss the Australian Open. However, Tiley also added that the Spaniard was "pleased" with the fact that he avoided a serious injury in Australia this year.

Judging by Tiley's words, Nadal is expected to be ready for the Masters events in Indian Wells and Miami in March.

Australian Open Rafael Nadal Craig Tiley