22-Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal has not played a competitive tennis match in eight months. Will Nadal return to the tour?
Will Nadal Return to the Tour?
Tennis fans are wishing for Rafa to return to competitive tennis in 2024. He answered questions about the topic in a recent interview with Movistar+. He talked about his current daily routine, golfing, his thoughts on the future of tennis and how he wants to get back to the game. The ATP Tour website says that Nadal underwent an operation on the iliopsoas muscle in his left leg in June and is still in the midst of the recovery process.
“My hope is to play again, to be competitive again,” explained Nadal. “The hope is not returning and winning at Roland Garros again, or in Australia, let’s get that straight. I’m aware that, at this point in my life, that is very far off. I’m not saying it’s impossible, I’ve said it thousands of times because things in sport change very quickly.”
“As well as the iliopsoas, on June 2, I had a hip operation. It’s been a very tough year and a half since the rib injury in Indian Wells, despite the Roland Garros title. The results sometimes belie the daily reality. My iliopsoas was very bad and the operation was a solution. They told me that if I didn’t have the operation I wouldn’t recover even if I stopped for a long time. I took the decision, and the operation went well, but it’s a long time. I’ve been on holiday for five weeks only doing gym.”
A return in 2024 is not certain
“I’m not sure what I’ll do in 2024, because the way I approach the year completely changes depending on what my goals are. If I don’t recover, that’s one thing, if I can compete on a level that excites me, that’s another thing altogether… Of course, in that case, I would play. But not with the schedule I’d like to have.
“I still do not need to answer that [now]. If I can play, but I’m not at the level to win at Roland Garros, maybe I will decide to have a goodbye tour. I can’t answer that right now. The Olympic Games would be the icing on the cake if I’m competitive. My schedule would change if I felt like I had a chance of playing and winning at Roland Garros.
“My hope is that in two months, mid-November, I’ll be able to say where I am. How I am physically, and above all how the injury is. We haven’t set a timeframe. First, I have a recovery process, I’m training for 40 minutes, three days a week. This is my day-to-day schedule, and I work a lot of hours in the gym and on recovery. Will it be my last year? Have I planned it that way? Well, what if that’s not the case? What if, suddenly, after a long break, my body recovers and I feel strong enough and have enough energy to continue? Why would I lie and then say something else?
Will Nadal return to the tour in 2024? We all hope so, but time will tell.