Sydney, Australia, Oct 11 (EFE).- Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal is set to return to the court in Melbourne in 2024 for possibly a last tilt at the Australian Open, the tournament’s director said Wednesday.
“We can exclusively reveal that Rafa will be back,” Craig Tiley said on the “Today” show on Australian television Channel 9.
“He’s been off for the most of the year and in talking to him over the last few days he confirmed he will be back, which we’re really excited about. That’s awesome,” he added.
Tiley said that the 37-year-old two-time Australian Open champion, who previously announced that the following season might be his last, “will show up to win,” having previously won the tournament in 2009 and 2022.
Nadal “is not going to come into the event unless he thinks he can win it,” the Australian official said.
“He’s not going to just show up to play, he’s going to show up to win,” he added, about the 22-time Grand Slam winner.
Tiley pointed out that, in addition to Nadal, some other top players, such as Naomi Osaka of Japan and Nick Kyrgios of Australia, were also expected to return to the tournament next season.
The Australian Open will kick off on Jan.14 and last for fifteen days, one more than the previous editions.
The decision to extend the tournament by a day has been taken to reduce the pressure of late-night finishes on players.
Nadal played his last official match on Jan. 18, when he lost in straight sets to American Mackenzie McDonald in the second round of the Australian Open.
A video posted on his Instagram account last week showed Nadal training on a tennis court at his academy in Mallorca for the first time since undergoing a hip operation in June. EFE