• Rafa Nadal: "The time has come to come back"
  • Exhibition in St. Petersburg Gazprom's power circumvents the veto on Russia
  • The Throwing 'Weapon' of the Balls: "So much change is a murder for the joints"

A week ago, Rafa Nadal went to the inauguration of the Teknon Tennis Clinic in Barcelona, directed by Dr. Ángel Ruiz-Cotorro, his usual doctor, and came out unscathed from a tightrope walking exercise. He couldn't say anything about his return to the tracks, he still didn't dare to reveal when or where, but he faced dozens of questions. "I have nothing to hide and even more so at this point in my life. When I can communicate the date of my return, I will do so," he proclaimed at the time and, despite the insistence of journalists, he avoided giving more details.

The conundrum was revealed this Friday: he will play again on December 31 or January 1 at the ATP 250 in Brisbane where Holger Rune, Grigor Dimitrov, Ben Shelton and Andy Murray will also be present. On the concrete of the Queensland Tennis Centre, which he already set foot in 2017, Nadal will test his rehabilitation and prepare for the Australian Open that will start shortly after, on January 14, in Melbourne.

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Fear, a Winning Mistake and Pain Management

  • Written by: SEBASTIÁN FEST

Fear, a Winning Mistake and Pain Management

A year after temporarily retiring from the courts and six months after undergoing psoas and hip surgery, the 22-time Grand Slam winner will reclaim his career at the age of 37 in search of new joys. What will they be? Not even Nadal himself knows. "I don't have a set plan, I'd like to be competitive again, but the illusion is not to win Roland Garros or Australia. Don't let people get confused," he revealed in September on Movistar and the fact is that the Spaniard has erased deadlines from his rehabilitation.

He decides week by week, as he finds himself. At the inauguration of the Teknon Tennis Clinic a week ago, he had to run away from advertisements because he didn't really have anything to announce at the time. As revealed by Ser, he had already planned to travel this December to the Rafa Nadal Academy in Kuwait to train in the heat - as he did in 2020 or 2021 - but until these last days he did not know if his physique would allow him to play in Brisbane or if he would simply have to limit himself to participating in some exhibition before facing the next Australian Open.

Keep an eye out for draws

Immersed in a more or less normal training plan since October, with some sessions on the hard court of his Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca, he finally brought forward his return to competition. Now all that's left for him to do is enjoy tennis again. But it won't be easy either. With only the 45 points of the last Australian Open, where he lost in the second round to the American Mackenzie McDonald, Nadal is currently number 662 in the ATP ranking and, although he will receive an invitation to attend any tournament, the draws can complicate things for him.

For the first time since 2005, that is, since he was 18 years old, this 2024 he will go to a Grand Slam without being seeded, so in the first rounds he may have to face Novak Djokovic or Carlos Alcaraz

And then what?

"After a year out of competition, the time has come to come back," he said yesterday in the announcement of his return again without offering much more information.

Because what he will or won't do after the Australian tour is also in doubt. It seems unlikely that he will play any tournament in February, even complete the American tour in March with the Masters 1000 in Indian Wells and Miami, because his goals are on clay. At Roland Garros, of course, which will be played from May 26 to June 09, but also at the Paris Olympics, which will be held at the same venue from July 27 to August 4.

The previous calendar, however, is still open. "If I feel like I have any chance of winning Roland Garros, I will have to choose which tournaments I can play. If not, maybe I'll want to do a farewell tour of many places," he revealed months ago. On the eaves, the Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo, Madrid and Rome and the Conde de Godó. Right now, the only thing that is certain is that Nadal is back.

  • tennis
  • Rafa Nadal
  • Articles Javier Sánchez
  • Novak Djokovic
  • Carlos Alcaraz