Nadal confirms Brisbane return ahead of Australian Open
01 Dec 2023
Rafael Nadal gestures as he talks during a press conference to announce he will not compete in the French Open. File / AFP
Spaniard Rafael Nadal, absent from the courts for almost a year with a hip injury, announced Friday that he would return to competition in Brisbane next month ahead of the Australian Open.
"Hello everyone, after a year away from competition, it's time to come back. It will be in Brisbane the first week of January. I'll see you there," the 22-time Grand Slam winner said in a post on social media.
Former world number one Nadal has not played since his defeat in the second round of the Australian Open last January. In May, a little more than a week before the start of the French Open, Nadal announced that he would miss the tournament he’s won a record 14 times and wasn’t exactly sure when he might return to play.
Nadal had said then that he hoped to compete in 2024, which he expected to be his final season.
"You never know how things will turn out,” Nadal said at a news conference at the time, "but my intention is that next year will be my last year.” He wound up having arthroscopic surgery in June in Barcelona.
Dating to the end of 2022, the 37-year-old Spanish left-hander has lost seven of his past nine matches, including going 1-3 this season. Nadal's 22 Grand Slam singles titles rank second to Djokovic’s 24 for the most among men.