Rafael Nadal downplays expectations ahead of much-awaited Brisbane comeback

'I don't aspire to anything else,' said the Spaniard

By Web Desk
December 06, 2023
Rafael Nadal is set to mark his return after staying 12 months on the sidelines. — REUTERS

Rafael Nadal lowered expectations for fans ahead of the much-awaited comeback at the Brisbane International in January 2024 saying that he doesn't aspire to be competitive again.

Nadal will be accompanied by the likes of Andy Murray, Holger Rune, Ben Shelton and Grigor Dimitrov in Australia.

The Spaniard posted a new video on his social media accounts on Wednesday where he expressed that he has been through a lot in the last 12 months and confirmed that he is not coming into the tournament with expectations.

"It's been a long year in which I've gone through many phases, from trying to get back to compete at the clay season week after week. Then I had to decide to stop and say enough and look for a definite solution, which was the surgery. Since then, everything has been a new horizon, a different path, but always with the hope of coming back," Nadal said in a video.

"I have finally had good training weeks at a level that allows me the possibility to compete again. I have gone through many phases, but I today I think it's time: I'm coming back in a tournament, a 250 tournament. I know it's a difficult tournament but I hope to be ready to compete. I don't aspire to anything else -- to be competitive," Rafael Nadal said.

It is worth noting that Nadal, who last featured at the 2022 Australian Open where he sustained a hip injury that kept him out for 12 months, fell out of 10 rankings for the first time in his 20-year-old illustrious career and is currently ranked World No. 663.

In an interview on a local show in September, Nadal stated that he would not be returning with hopes of winning any major title.

"Yes, I would like to play again and be competitive again, but the dream is not to come back and win Roland Garros or win Australia, so that people don't get confused, right?" Nadal said in September.

"I am very aware that at the time I am in my life, all that is very far away, right? And I don't say it's impossible because in the end I say things, I have said it a thousand times, all things in sport, they change very quickly," he added.

He also talked about his 2024 retirement plan saying that it remains his goal.

"I said that possibly 2024 was my last year, I maintain that, but I cannot confirm it 100% because I do not know," the 22-time Grand Slam triumphant added.