Rafael Nadal yesterday insisted he will be “competitive” when he returns to professional tennis next month after enduring nearly a year out of action due to injury.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion, who has undergone surgery twice in 2023 after struggling with a hip injury, says next year will likely be his last season before retirement and announced last week he would make his comeback at the Australian Open warm-up event in Brisbane, which runs from January 1-7.
Nadal last played at the Australian Open in January, losing in the second round to American MacKenzie McDonald.
He originally hoped to be back in time for the clay-court season and Roland Garros, where he is a 14-time French Open winner, but had to end his campaign early.
The 37-year-old Spaniard has slipped to 664th in the world rankings while sidelined.