A video has emerged of Rafael Nadal practicing ahead of his return to the sport in 2024.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion has been absent for most of this season. He last competed at the Australian Open back in January, where he was defeated by Mackenzie McDonald in the second round. He subsequently withdrew from several tournaments including the Indian Wells and Miami Open due to an injury he sustained at the Melbourne Slam.
In May, Nadal announced that he would be taking a break from tennis to undergo surgery and thus put an end to his 2023 season. He said that he would be aiming to return in 2024 but suggested that it could be his last year on the ATP Tour before retirement.
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Nadal training to come back at Australian Open
In recent weeks, Nadal's uncle and former longtime coach Toni Nadal announced that the former World No. 1 was aiming to return to the Tour at the 2024 Australian Open.
Although Nadal has been realistic about his aims for the season, saying that he is not expecting to win the Slam in January or the French Open later in the year, it is clear that he is working hard to get back to the best form that he can be in.
He posted the video of him training on his Instagram page and it has since been shared by fans across social media. Several have expressed their excitement about his comeback.
"Tears in my eyes ..... Welcome back King," wrote one on X, formerly known as Twitter.
"The king is coming back," added another.
"The GOAT is back!" another commented on Instagram.
However, others have shared their nerves about Nadal's return and said that they were trying not to get their hopes up.
"I forbid myself to hope.We've been fooled before.Bye." wrote one.
"Unfortunately next year is gonna be his “last dance” but with no slams…" predicted another.