Rafael Nadal makes candid confession as he addresses whether 2024 will be his final season

Rafael Nadal leaves the court

Rafael Nadal has admitted there are “chances” his 2024 comeback will last “only half a year” and “many chances” that next year will be his final season on tour.

The tennis legend explained he does not want to set a definitive deadline on how much longer he will play as there are a range of possibilities determined by how his body reacts.

Nadal has not played since sustaining a hip injury in his second round loss to Mackenzie McDonald at the 2023 Australian Open in January. The former world No 1 underwent surgery to address the issue in June, having initially expected to be out for only six to eight weeks.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion was forced to postpone his planned comeback during this year’s clay-court season and missed the French Open for the first time since 2004.

The 37-year-old revealed in a press conference announcing his withdrawal from the clay-court Major that 2024 would likely be his final season on the tour.

Nadal announced last week that he would be making his long-awaited return to action at the Brisbane International tournament in January in preparation for the 2024 Australian Open.

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In a video shared on social media, Nadal divulged it was likely that 2024 would be his last year as a professional, although he did not rule out the prospect of playing longer if he is able to.

“It is a reality, there are many chances that it will be my last year without any doubt. There are chances that it may only be half a year, there are possibilities it may be a full year, that we may not be able to reach all that,” the Spaniard said.

“These are things right now I do not have the capacity to be able to answer, this is the truth. I am only in conditions to say that I return to compete, that I continue having in my head that the normal thing, or that there are many possibilities that it is my last year, and I am going to enjoy the tournaments in that way.

“I do not want to announce it because in the end I do not know what can happen and I have to give myself the opportunity not to say one thing and then I can be a slave of what I have said.

“I think it is going to be like that, but I can’t be 100% sure because in the end I have worked a lot to come back to compete and if suddenly things and my physique allows me to continue and enjoy what I do – why am I going to set a deadline? I think it makes no sense.”

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