Tennis: Rafael Nadal back in 2024 for one last dance

After almost a year without playing, Rafael Nadal has announced his return to competition for January 2024, in Australia. The injury-plagued Spaniard wants to have one last year on tour and end his incredible career on a high note.

Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal, pictured here in January 2023, announced on December 1, 2023, his return to competition, after almost a year without playing. AP - Aaron Favila

By: Nicolas Bamba Follow


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It's time to come back " he said in a video posted on December 1, 2023. On several occasions in recent months, the tennis world has dreaded to hear Rafael Nadal announce the end of his career, constrained by a worn physique after 21 years of high level and masterful performances. But the goodbyes will be for later.


I don't deserve to end up like this ", he recalled in his message, as an echo of his remarks made a few months ago. When he had to withdraw from the last tournament at Roland-Garros, his home kingdom where he was crowned 14 times, the Spaniard had already warned: "I've worked hard enough all my sporting life that my end is not at a press conference. I'm going to fight to finish the right way.



— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) December 1, 2023

"Rafa", ranked 663rd in the world, is back on track to say goodbye

So, as usual, the Mallorcan fought for months. Against time, against wear and tear and against this suffering body. Already plagued by knee, shoulder and back injuries, and weakened by Müller-Weiss syndrome, which has plagued his left foot for years, "Rafa" has had to undergo two operations on his left hip this year. Since then, he has been working hard to get back in good shape to get back on the court.

It's time to reunite on the circuit soon. Rafael Nadal has set an appointment in Australia, at the ATP 250 tournament in Brisbane (from December 31, 2023 to January 7, 2024), the antechamber of the Australian Open. It was in Melbourne that the Spaniard appeared for the last time, on January 18, 2023; As the defending champion, he showed up with a flawed physique and was knocked out in the second round by Mackenzie McDonald.

At the age of 37 and a half, the "Bull of Manacor" is back to complete his fabulous story as he sees fit. Rafael Nadal, who has fallen to 663rd in the world due to his one-year absence, may not be able to perform the same miracles as before. The man with 22 Grand Slam titles has already admitted that he will no longer be able to titillate his Serbian rival Novak Djokovic, the new record holder with 24 victories. And his body will probably force him to choose his tournaments and skip certain appointments. But after still fighting to come back, he is keen to complete his final lap in 2024, his most likely final year. There will be no shortage of highlights, including the usual fortnight on the clay of Roland-Garros where the public is waiting for them, and of course the Olympic Games.

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