Rafael Nadal Australian Open update as chief ‘certain’ Spaniard will play

Rafael Nadal Australian Open update as chief 'certain' Spaniard will play

Australian Open director Craig Tiley has said that he is “certain” Rafael Nadal will be at the Grand Slam as the Spaniard looks to make his return from injury in Melbourne. The 37-year-old has not played professionally since this year’s tournament in January, having been kept out through hip and psoas injuries.

Nadal has been back on the court practicing though and is gradually going through his rehabilitation in order to make a comeback to tennis. He has been tipped for a return at the 2024 Australian Open and Tiley has insisted that he is on track to play in January.

“Rafa has been training, I follow him closely, probably every day, because he’s a massive drawcard for us,” Tiley said in Melbourne on Thursday. “He wants to play, he’s obviously planning on playing. It all depends on how he pulls up.

“Hopefully in the next week or the next two weeks, we get some specific confirmation of that. 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.”

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However, some caution should be exercised as Tiley has made a similar statement that was refuted. Last month, Tiley jumped the gun and confirmed that the 22-time Grand Slam champion would be competing at the Australian Open next year.

“We can reveal exclusively here that Rafa will be back,” Tiley told Nine Network’s ‘The Today Show’. “He’s been off for 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, the champion of 2022. That’s awesome.”