Taylor Fritz says Rafael Nadal’s return could be a nightmare for seeds

Rafael Nadal at practice

Taylor Fritz is not surprised that Rafael Nadal will be making his comeback to action in January and feels he could be a real nightmare for seeds and other fancied players.

Fritz believes that Nadal will be rusty but contended that even if he isn’t at his best the Raging Bull will be a dangerous opponent.

He noted that Nadal’s rankings slide will mean that he could turn up anywhere in a draw.

Fritz felt that he definietely wouldn’t want to face Nadal in the early rounds of the Australian Open.

Nadal will make his return to the ATP Tour at the Brisbane International in week one of the 2024 season.

“I mean, I expected that, it’s Rafa,” Fritz said.

“I don’t think that he was ever going to just retire and not give it another go, so I definitely, after the amount of time he’s had off, I expected him to come back to start the year. So I think that it’s good news for tennis as a whole.

“I think that maybe it’s going to be tough. Maybe he might be a little bit rusty. I think it’s going to be pretty crazy having him in draws where he’s going to be unseeded. So anybody can play Rafa in the first round, so it’s going to be pretty crazy.

“He’s Rafa, so I think even if he’s going to be maybe a little rusty coming back or it takes some time, he’s still going to be playing really well and he’s still going to be tough for a lot of guys to play early and draws as well just because of him being unseeded.”

Fritz dodges Nadal for the first week of the 2024 ATP Tour season as he will be leading the United States in the United Cup.

He says that he enjoys the team atmosphere of this event which is unique in seeing men and women compete together.

Fritz says that togetherness helped power the USA tot the first ever United Cup title.

“Last year was kind of our first time, like, actually hanging out, and it was cool,” Fritz told ATP Tennis Radio.

“All the girls in our team, I think everyone came together a lot that week… so I think it played a big part in our team having such a good result, as we were really close.”

The USA begin their United Cup campaign on Sunday 31 December against Great Britain at RAC Arena in Perth.

READ MORE: Rafael Nadal written off as Australian Open contender

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