Rafael Nadal announces return to ATP Tour at 2024 Brisbane International
(Courtesy : The Independent)
The 22-time Grand slam winner has hinted at retirement next year.
Rafael Nadal, the 22-time Grand Slam winner, has announced his return to the ATP Tour. He will participate in the 2024 Brisbane International, which runs from December 31, 2023, to January 7, 2024. Nadal last competed in the 2023 Australian Open, where he was defeated in the second round by Mackenzie McDonald. Following a hip injury sustained at the Australian Open, Nadal took a year-long sabbatical from the game due to injury.
Despite his current World No. 663 ranking, Nadal benefits from a protected ranking. He was World No. 6 in January this year. A protected ranking is a provision made by the ATP for players affected by long-term injuries, allowing them to avoid starting from the bottom upon their return.
The 2023 French Open marked the first time since 2005 that Rafael Nadal had to miss the tournament. Known as the ‘King of Clay,’ Nadal has 14 French Open victories to his name, including five consecutive titles from 2010 to 2014. The Spaniard has openly discussed his plans to retire at the end of the 2024 season.
In a video posted on his official handle, Nadal stated, “Hello everyone, after a year away from the competition, it’s time to come back. It will be in Brisbane in the first week of January. I’ll see you there.” He further added, “I don’t think I deserve to end like this.
“I believe I’ve worked hard all through my sporting career. So, my end won’t be here at a press conference. I will be finishing my career the right way.”
Nadal began 2022 on a high note, winning the warm-up tournament to the Australian Open in Melbourne and claiming the Australian Open trophy as well. He added a fourteenth French Open trophy in the same year and ended the 2022 season with a 39-8 win/loss record and four title wins. The 37-year-old has won the Australian Open twice, lifting the trophy in 2009 and 2022.
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