Rafael Nadal will return at the end of the year at the Brisbane International going into 2024 which could yet be his final year in the sport. An ATP 250 tournament albeit with a superb line-up, it will give the Spaniard the opportunity to test his metal before the Australian Open.
It has been a long road for Rafael Nadal's last stand, with the Spaniard having to undergo multiple surgeries and procedures to even have the farewell that he is craving.
The hardest one yet
But one person as ever in his corner is a certain Toni Nadal who backed his nephew to overcome the hardest comeback of his career yet.
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"Very excited to see Rafael Nadal. compete again. Even knowing this time will be “the hardest one yet”, I have great faith in him and believe he won’t disappoint."
There is both high expectations and low expectations for the comeback of the great Spaniard, with some believing he shouldn't have tried to come back and others hoping for a fairytale ending including at Roland Garros and the Paris Olympics.
The latter of which he is currently not able to play, but if he writes to the ITF after Spain got a wildcard, he is likely to get an exemption to play alongside Carlos Alcaraz. With the US Open following it, it could yet be the final tournament that Nadal plays in albeit he has teased that he could yet carry on if he gets good results on his return.
Currently only Novak Djokovic out of the so called big three remains in the sport active and is still at the top of his game and some see Father Time and the time away from the court as Nadal's biggest obstacle. Will he thrive?