Nadal to Make Comeback at Brisbane International. © Getty Images

One year after Rafael Nadal, former world number one, was injured, and his physical problems forced him to step away from competition, he will return to the courts. The Spanish tennis player announced this on Friday, and the chosen venue for his comeback will be the Brisbane International, an event preceding the Australian Open held in January 2024.

The winner of 22 Grand Slam titles, surpassed only by Novak Djokovic and ahead of another tennis legend, Roger Federer, has not competed for a year. His last match was the elimination in the second round of the Australian Open earlier this year, in 2023, affected by a hip flexor problem. This physical issue had caused him significant trouble, and for quite some time, he had been playing through pain. His breaks had been frequent but never as prolonged as this one.

Nadal, deep in thought during a press conference discussing his physical issues in 2022. ©
 Getty Images
Nadal, deep in thought during a press conference discussing his physical issues in 2022. © Getty Images

"After a year away from competition, it's time to come back," said Nadal in a video posted on social media. The Spanish player has worked very hard to be in a condition to face the level expected of a player like him. "It will be in Brisbane, the first week of January. I'll see you there," added the Spanish player. Nadal has been dealing with physical issues for several seasons, but even so, they have not been able to curb his desire to continue in the circuit. 

At 37 years old and with a brilliant record, he has never wanted to talk about retirement. In fact, before announcing his return to the courts after this recovery period, the Spanish player previously expressed his desire to play one last Roland Garros in 2024, a tournament he has won 14 times, as well as representing Spain at the Paris Olympics next year before retiring at the end of his 23rd season on the circuit. Nadal already has two Olympic medals in his trophy case: gold in singles at Beijing 2008 and doubles gold at Rio 2016, which he won alongside Marc López. He is one of the four tennis players who have won gold in both categories. The Williams sisters and the Chilean Nicolás Massú achieved this feat before him.