Rafael Nadal announces comeback tournament as he eyes Australian Open

Ewan West
Nadal wins his 21st Grand Slam
Nadal wins his 21st Grand Slam

Rafael Nadal has confirmed he will make his return to tennis at the 2024 Brisbane International in January ahead of the Australian Open

The great Spaniard declared “it’s time to come back” in a video announcing his return to action after almost a year away from the sport due to injury.

The 37-year-old has not played since suffering a hip injury in his second round loss to Mackenzie McDonald at the 2023 Australian Open in January. The 22-time Grand Slam champion underwent surgery on the issue in June, having initially expected to be out for only six to eight weeks.

The former world No 1 was forced to postpone his planned comeback during the clay-court season and missed the French Open for the first time since 2004. He revealed in a press conference announcing his withdrawal from Roland Garros that 2024 would likely be his final season on the tour.

The Mallorcan won his most recent Grand Slam title at the 2022 French Open, where he defeated Casper Ruud in straight sets to claim a record-extending 14th Roland Garros crown.

Nadal competed at the ATP 250 tournament in Brisbane in 2017 when he reached the quarter-finals, losing to Milos Raonic. He was also making a comeback from injury in 2017 and went on to have his best season since 2013 as he claimed two Majors and finished as the year-end No 1.

In a video posted on his social media accounts, Nadal delighted fans by revealing he is set to make his return at the very start of the 2024 campaign.

“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 Spaniard said.

The Brisbane International, which will run from 31 December to 7 January at the Queensland Tennis Centre, is being held for the first time since 2019.

Nadal is then expected to compete at the Australian Open, where he is a two-time champion, with main draw action at the Melbourne Grand Slam kicking off on Sunday 14 January.

In his post, the 37-year-old also included footage from a press conference he held earlier this year in which he outlined his determination to come back and end his career on his own terms.

“I don’t think I deserve to end like this. I have worked hard so that my end is not here, in a press conference. I am going to fight so that the end is not like this. I am satisfied that in my life we have done the things we saw fit to reach our goals,” Nadal declared.

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