By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Finally, Rafael Nadal is back.
After almost a year of hiatus due to a series of injuries, the Spanish sensation and former world no. 1 ranked male tennis player will be returning to the Grand Slam stage in the 2024 Australian Open tournament.
It was tournament director Craig Tiley who confirmed the development, announcing that the 22-time Grand Slam champion is ready to suit up again and compete at the highest level of the sport.
Tiley revealed the update after his appearance on Australia’s “The Today Show”, adding that he already talked with Nadal regarding his tennis comeback.
“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,” said Tiley.
The Spanish legend has yet to make a comeback on the Grand Slam stage since injuring his hip flexor during the last edition of the Australian Open.
Nadal initially eyed returning to the Dubai Tennis Championships but due to his preferences, the 36-year-old superstar chose to wait a bit and revealed that he will be waiting for a clay court major tennis competition.
It was a roller coaster year for the tennis star after halting his 18-year top 10 men’s tennis ranking streak last March, 2023.
Nadal, who began his streak of top 10 men’s ranking qualification in 2005, dropped to world no. 13 with only 2,715 points.
This is the lowest rank the 22-time Grand Slam champion received in 18 straight years and still holds the record of being a top 10 player for 912 consecutive weeks.
During the past press conferences, Nadal wasn’t expecting too much about his future in the sport after injuries started to derail his plans of joining the previous major tournaments.