Coach says Rafael Nadal is ‘convinced’ he will be competitive

(Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images) /

Tennis fans are excited for 2024. The men’s game awaits the return of Rafael Nadal who was out for the majority of 2023 recovering from a hip injury suffered at the 2023 Australian Open. This is believed to be Nadal’s farewell year on the ATP Tour. Nadal has been training very hard in recent months to make the comeback.

Rafael Nadal has tempered expectations about what fans can expect when he returns. The 37-year-old, who will turn 38 in June, is genuinely uncertain if his body will hold up and enable him to compete for more Grand Slam titles, most notably in Paris for an unprecedented and mind-boggling 15th title at Roland Garros. Added to the intrigue is the possibility of seeing Nadal play in Paris two times in 2024 as the Olympics are also set at the site of the French Open.

Video footage of his training looks very promising, but more importantly, his longtime coach Carlos Moya recently spoke about how Nadal feels he is progressing.

Rafael Nadal looks ready for the 2024 season

Rafael Nadal spent a week training in Kuwait with Arthur Fils. Moya said that Nadal leaves those sessions “convinced that he might be [competitive].” The outcome was much better than “he [Nadal] could have expected.”

This is positive news. Nadal has dealt with many injuries and comebacks in his career, but his mindset this time has been to be realistic about his chances given his age and long time away from the game. Fans know this, but they also know that he is so driven and competitive. He would never attempt a return if he felt he could not play at a high level.

Nadal is not putting in all of this work to be ushered out of tournaments in the first round. He wants the chance to play Novak Djokovic or the young guns, Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner, and Holger Rune. We can only hope those chances are plentiful in 2024 and that the tennis gods give us another moment of Nadal hoisting a Grand Slam trophy on championship Sunday.

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