Injured Rafael Nadal not included in Spain’s squad for 2024 United Cup
The 22-time Grand Slam champion is expected to return at next year’s Australian Open.
In a notable absence, the injury-stricken Rafael Nadal will not be part of the Spanish squad heading to Australia for the 2024 United Cup, a mixed-team event scheduled from December 29 to January 7, with Sydney and Perth as host cities.
Rafael Nadal has endured a year-long absence from tennis since his hip injury at the 2023 Australian Open, where Mackenzie McDonald defeated the 22-time Grand Slam champion in the second round. Nadal underwent hip surgery in June, and his return remains uncertain, despite earlier announcements of his presence at the Australian Open.
The 37-year-old Nadal, who has signaled that the 2024 season will be his last, has seen his rival, Novak Djokovic, surpass his Grand Slam title tally. Djokovic secured his 23rd and 24th majors at Roland Garros and Flushing Meadows, respectively.
In contrast to Nadal’s absence, Novak Djokovic, the current World No. 1, has confirmed his participation in the United Cup. This event will kick off his 2024 season, preparing him for the Australian Open title defense. Djokovic will lead the Serbian team in the tournament.
Rafael Nadal, who was a crucial part of the United Cup Spanish team in 2023 as its top-ranked player, leaves a void in the squad. Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, ranked 26th on the Pepperstone ATP rankings, will now spearhead the Spanish challenge at the 2024 United Cup.
Other members of the Spanish team include Sara Sorribes Tormo, Roberto Carballés Baena, Marina Bassols Ribera, David Vega Hernández, and Nuria Párrizas Díaz.
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The 2024 United Cup will feature an array of star players, including Iga Swiatek, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud, Alexander Zverev, Maria Sakkari, and Caroline Garcia. The defending champions, the United States, will be represented by Jessica Pegula and Taylor Fritz.