New Delhi, Oct 11: Next year's Australian Open is set to bring immense joy to Rafael Nadal's fans as the Spaniard is scheduled to make an eagerly awaited comeback after a long injury layoff, as announced by tournament director Craig Tiley on Wednesday.
Speaking to Channel Nine’s Today, Tiley revealed the 22-time Grand Slam champion is preparing to compete in the year’s first Grand Slam tournament as he gears up for what appears to be his farewell 2024 season.
"We can reveal exclusively here that Rafa will be back. He's been off for most of the year, and in talking to him over the last few days, he confirmed he will be back, which we're really excited about. That's awesome," Tiley said.
Nadal has won the Australian Open twice, defeating Roger Federer in the 2009 final and overcoming injury to topple Daniil Medvedev in 2022 for his 21st Grand Slam title—a tally that hit 22 later that year at Roland Garros.
The 37-year-old Spaniard has been absent from competitive tennis since sustaining a hip muscle injury during his second-round loss to Mackenzie McDonald at the Australian Open in January.
Nadal took the entire season off to recover, and announced that 2024 would likely be his last year on tour.
"I just want to give myself the opportunity to compete again for what will be my last year. I hope that 2024 is not just a year of simple appearances, but a year where I can win the tournaments I play. It will be difficult, but we have to hope for it," Nadal said in May. (IANS)