Rafael Nadal return date ‘leaked’ as stance on 2025 Australian Open shared

Rafael Nadal return date 'leaked' as stance on 2025 Australian Open shared

Australian Open CEO Craig Tiley has claimed that Rafael Nadal will return to tennis in February after pulling out of the first Grand Slam of the year. The 37-year-old made his long-awaited return from injury this month but suffered a micro-tear in his hip at the Brisbane International that forced him to withdraw from the Major.

Nadal played three matches in the Brisbane warm-up with his new injury flagged in the defeat to Jordan Thompson, with fans fearing the worst that they may have watched the 22-time Grand Slam champion play for the last time. However, Tiley has confirmed that Nadal may be back in action as soon as next month and plans to play in next year’s Australian Open.

“He will be ready hopefully in February and I wish him well. I just told him we’re looking forward to see him in January 2025,” Tiley said on the AO Show podcast. “He didn’t say no [to playing in the Australian Open next year]. His reaction was, ‘If I’m playing, feeling good and not injured, I’ll be back’.”

Nadal insisted that his latest setback was “good news” in the grand scheme of his recovery from a year-long absence, and with Tiley revealing the Spaniard’s timeline following their private chat, a healthy Nadal would be able to compete in an emotional final French Open.

“During my last match in Brisbane I had a small problem on a muscle that as you know made me worried,” Nadal wrote on social media. “Once I got to Melbourne I have had the chance to make an MRI and I have micro tear on a muscle, not in the same part where I had the injury and that’s good news.

“Right now I am not ready to compete at the maximum level of exigence in 5 sets matches. I’m flying back to Spain to see my doctor, get some treatment and rest. I have worked very hard during the year for this comeback and as I always mentioned my goal is to be at my best level in 3 months.”

Nadal looked back to his best in Australia after marking his return with statement victories over Dominic Thiem and Jason Kubler.

He appeared to be in control against Thompson after winning the first set 7-5, but losing a tiebreak in the second forced Nadal to go the distance for the first time before he went down 6-3 after suffering a micro-tear in his hip.

But Nadal should be back in action in February and Australian Open fans may get to see the star in action next year, even though he has previously hinted that 2024 may be his last on the professional tour before retiring.