Rafael Nadal will return to Grand Slam tennis on the Australian Open in January, event director Craig Tiley stated on Wednesday.
The 37-year-old former world primary has been sidelined since hurting his hip flexor in a second-round loss to Mackenzie McDonald on the Melbourne Park main earlier this yr.
The Spaniard, who has received 22 Grand Slam titles, was initially anticipated to overlook eight weeks however underwent surgical procedure on a hip muscle in June.
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Whereas Nadal’s consultant Benito Perez-Barbadillo instructed Reuters through textual content from Shanghai that there was nothing to announce but on the Spaniard’s upcoming schedule, Tiley instructed 9 Community’s ‘The As we speak Present’ that he had confirmed his participation.
“We are able to reveal solely right here that Rafa shall be again,” Tiley stated.
“He’s been off for many of the yr and in speaking to him over the previous couple of days he confirmed he shall be again, which we’re actually enthusiastic about, the champion of 2022. That’s superior.”
Tiley additionally stated Australian Nick Kyrgios may return in time to play at Melbourne Park after he underwent knee surgical procedure in January and suffered wrist and foot points in an injury-plagued 2023.
“We all know Nick’s been in coaching, desirous to return as properly. So we count on to see him again,” he added.
Tiley stated a trio of former girls’s champions – Naomi Osaka, Angelique Kerber and Caroline Wozniacki – had been additionally planning to return to the yr’s first Grand Slam after maternity breaks.
“We’ll welcome them – and their households – again to Melbourne with open arms and may’t wait to see what their subsequent chapter brings,” he added.
Nadal has stated he expects to retire after the 2024 season, with a collection of accidents limiting his appearances on Tour.
He dropped out of the highest 100 for the primary time in 20 years earlier within the season and has slipped to quantity 240 on the earth however is eligible for a protected rating having been injured and never competing in any occasion for a minimum of six months.
Nadal, who has been releasing movies of his coaching, has additionally expressed his need to play in subsequent yr’s Paris Olympics with the tennis event set to happen at Roland Garros, the place he has received 14 of his 22 main titles.
In Nadal’s absence, Novak Djokovic has gone on to win a document 24 Grand Slams.
Nadal has received the Australian Open twice, along with his final victory coming in 2022 when he beat Russia’s Daniil Medvedev and have become the primary man within the Open period to come back again from two units down within the closing to win.
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