Rafael Nadal is confident he will soon return to competition after missing almost all of 2023 with a hip injury that required surgery. He now assures, in a message through his social networks, that he will soon reveal his return plans: "Yesterday I confirmed that I will return" and highlighted that message with a smiling emoji. “Stay tuned,” he continued in the Instagram post, which included a photo of him about to hit a backhand. And he added that in the coming days he will "decide and announce with my team when and where" he will return to action.
The next season begins in late December, with the first major tournament of the year, the Australian Open, scheduled to begin. main draw matches on January 14.
After learning that Nadal will return to competition imminently, Novak Djokovic, world number one, wanted to talk about him. “For the tennis world, there is no doubt that it is great news that he is returning,” he said at the ATP Finals in Turin, Italy. "I think it would be good for the sport to have at least one more match between Nadal and me. That is the biggest rivalry in terms of the number of matches played that this sport has ever had. I hope it can happen," he declared at a press conference.
"He's a great warrior. He's someone who never gives up. With all the injuries he had, he keeps going. That's definitely something you have to respect and admire about him and his spirit. For the tennis world, it's definitely news It's incredible that he's going to be back," he added.
Nadal, whose 22 Grand Slam singles titles rank second behind Djokovic's 24 most among men, has not played on the tour since last January, when he injured his hip flexor during a loss to Mackenzie McDonald. in the second round of the Australian Open. In May, just over a week before the start of his beloved Roland Garros, Nadal announced that he would miss the tournament he won 14 times and wasn't exactly sure when he would be able to play again.
He later said that he hoped to compete in 2024, and that he hoped it would be his last season. "You never know how things will turn out," Nadal said in a press conference at the time, "but my intention is for next year to be my last year." He ended up undergoing arthroscopic surgery in June in Barcelona.