Rafael Nadal gives big hint that he is ready to return to action after latest injury setback

Shahida Jacobs
Rafael Nadal is making a comeback in 2024
Rafael Nadal is making a comeback in 2024

Rafael Nadal appears to be edging closer to his latest comeback with the tennis great indicating that he is on course to play at an upcoming exhibition event before returning to regular ATP Tour action.

Having made his comeback at the Brisbane International in January following nearly a full year on the sidelines due to a hip flexor injury, Nadal’s joy was short-lived as he picked up another injury and was forced to skip the Australian Open.

He was then pencilled for this week’s Qatar Open, but he admitted a fortnight ago that “unfortunately I am not ready to compete and I won’t be able to come to Doha where I really wanted to be and play again after that unforgettable win in 2014”.

The 22-time Grand Slam winner has been putting in the hard yards on the practice court and his latest social media post suggests he is on course to play at the upcoming “Netflix Slam” that will also feature world No 2 Carlos Alcaraz.

That match – which will be streaming giant Netflix’s first-ever live tennis match – is scheduled to take place on March 3 at the Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In a video on X, Nadal wrote: “Work in progress 🎯 Las Vegas & Indian Wells 👀”

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A post shared by Rafa Nadal (@rafaelnadal)

If Nadal comes through unscathed from his Netflix clash against Alcaraz, then he will head to California for the ATP Masters 1000 Indian Wells Open with the tournament running from March 6-17 while he could also play in the Miami Open from March 20-31, but he might be keen on keeping himself fresh for the clay-court season.

In a recent interview with Spain’s El Objetivo, Nadal revealed that his main goals are to compete at Indian Wells – where he won titles in 2007, 2009 and 2013 – and to do well on clay.

“My priority objective is to get to the clay season in the best possible way,” he said. “I hope to be in Indian Wells, it will possibly be the last time I play it and it is a very special tournament for me.”

But he is open to changing his plans as he admitted: “My plans in recent years have had to deviate greatly from what I would have liked. That is why we have to be flexible with decisions and try to get it right.”

The Spaniard added: “I have to make the final decisions. In the end the one who plays is me, and I am the one who has to make mistakes. I don’t want to go to a place without being physically prepared, at the tennis level it is normal to arrive just right, but on a physical level I don’t want to be bad.”

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