The director of the Australian Open, Craig Tiley, confirmed this Wednesday the return of the Spanish tennis player Rafa Nadal, double champion of the tournament, to the courts of Melbourne for the 2024 championship.
“We can exclusively reveal that Rafa will be back. He’s been away for most of the year and speaking to him over the last few days, he confirmed that he’ll be back (at the Australian Open), which we’re really excited about. It’s incredible. ” Tiley declared on the “Today” show on Australian television Channel 9.
The director stressed that Nadal, who previously announced that the following season may be his last season in tennis, “will show up to win,” just as he did in 2009 and 2022. Nadal, 37, “wouldn’t come to the tournament unless he thinks he can win it”. He will not show up simply to play, but he will show up to win,” Tiley remarked about the winner of 22 Grand Slams. The Australian pointed out that in addition to the Spaniard, the return of other great figures of world tennis is expected, such as the Japanese Naomi Osaka and the Australian Nick Kyrgios.
The next Australian Open will begin on a Sunday, January 14, and will last for fifteen days, one more than in previous editions, to spare players the burden of matches and excessive schedules. A change that the tournament itself considers “historic.”
Nadal played his last official match on January 18, when he lost in the second round of the Australian Open 6-4, 6-4 and 7-5 against the American Mackenzie McDonald, although Last week he could be seen training on a tennis court at his academy in Manacor (Mallorca) after the hip operation he underwent at the beginning of last June, in a video that he broadcast through his account on the social network Instagram. In this you can see Nadal returning forehand and backhand balls from the back of the court as part of a training session thinking about his return to competition.