By: Gyang Dakwo
Former World No.1 Rafael Nadal recently made public his tennis comeback plans, which have not brought much joy to his fans worldwide.
The Spaniard has fallen out of the world’s top 100 for the first time in 20 years as he continues to recover from the hip injury sustained at the Australian Open in January. Nadal is currently ranked World No. 237.
Nadal a 22-time Grand Slam champion missed this year’s French Open, which he has won 14 times, as well as the Wimbledon Championships and the recently concluded US Open.Rafael Nadal has largely been tight-lipped about his recovery timeline.
However, he ended his silence when he expressed his desire to return to the tennis court but made it clear that he is not harboring hopes of winning the 2024 Australian Open, the French Open, or any other Grand Slam tournament.
“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?” he said.
“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.
In preparation for his comeback, the 37-year-old tennis star is doing a variety of physical activities, which include swimming and even golfing.
Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Roger Federer were once tied at 20 Grand Slam titles each until the Spaniard broke the tie and became the first man to win 21 Major titles when he defeated Daniil Medvedev in the 2022 Australian Open final. He then won the 2022 French Open, extending his lead over his two rivals to two Majors.
However, things started changing when Djokovic won his 21st Grand Slam title at the 2022 Wimbledon Championships.The Serb (Djokovic) followed it up with another title at the 2023 Australian Open, and then another at the French Open.
Recently he became the first player in the Open Era to have 24 Grand Slam titles after winning the US Open, putting him two Majors ahead of Nadal.