The participation of Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios in the 2024 Australian Open is among the hottest topics of discussion between tennis fans as both the players haven’t competed for a long time.
Nadal, a 22-time Grand Slam winner, picked an injury in the 2023 Australian Open and hasn’t played since then. The Spaniard also underwent surgery but has started practising on the court after a long absence.
Australian Open boss, Craig Tiley, admitted that he has been watching Nadal’s videos on his Instagram account and that his appearances in the Grand Slam would be big.
“Rafa has been training, I follow him closely, probably every day, because he’s a massive drawcard for us,” Tiley said on Thursday.
“He wants to play, he’s obviously planning on playing ... I’m certain Rafa will be here because he’s not going to want to miss the opportunity to repeat what he did a couple of years ago.”
Tiley then talked about Kyrgios, who would do everything to play on his home soil, as the 28-year-old has been sidelined since last year and missed all four Majors in the 2023 season.
“We have spoken to Nick and he obviously wants to do the best he possibly can to give himself the best chance to play in January ... Nick’s position will be determined closer to the event,” Tiley said.
“Whether he’s playing, whether he’s doing something else, Nick will be here in January and to get him to play will be great, but we’ve got to take it as it comes and he’s got to take care of his health because he’s not just got January, he’s got the entire year.”
Kyrgios only played one match in 2023 in Stuttgart in June, and he can use his protected ranking of 21 for nine months, until March 2024, should he want to compete in the Australian Open.
“We have wildcard exchanges with the French and Wimbledon, so there’s an opportunity to really help an Australian player not just have one tournament to go into but several, so we’ll weigh that all up to make a decision — we’ve got wildcards to do that,” Tiley said when asked if a fit Kyrgios would be given a wildcard.
“I think whatever gets him the best chance to progress during the year.”