Madrid [Spain] : Days after announcing his return to the court at the Brisbane International early next year, legendary tennis player and 22-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal said he will participate in the tournament in Australia without any expectations.
The former World No. 1 brought fans closer to his current mindset in a philosophical message delivered in Spanish.
The 37-year-old Spaniard has not played since losing in the second round of the Australian Open earlier this year due to a long-standing hip problem. The hip injury was a severe blow, forcing him to pull out from the French Open, a tournament in which he claimed 14 titles. The Spanish player stated he would return to action in January, with an Australian Open appearance planned for the following month.
Speaking ahead of his return, Nadal stated that the most difficult thing for him to control next year would be his own expectations.
‘I have been afraid to announce things because in the end it’s [been] a year without competing and it’s a hip operation. But what worries me most is not the hip, it’s everything else. I think I’m ready and I trust and hope that things go well and that it gives me the opportunity to enjoy myself on the court,’ Nadal said in a video posted on his social media handle X.
‘I hope to feel again those nerves, that illusion, those fears, those doubts. I expect myself not to expect anything. This is the truth. To have the ability not to demand from myself what I have demanded throughout my career. I believe I’m in a different moment, in a separate situation and in an unexplored terrain,’ Nadal said.
The 92-time tour-level champion is known around the world for his competitive nature and drive to win every single point.
‘I have internalised what I have had throughout my life, which is to demand myself the maximum. And right now what I really hope is to be able not to do that and to accept that things are going to be very difficult at the beginning. But knowing that there may be a not-too-distant future in which things can change if I keep the spirit of work, the physique responds to me…,’ said the 22-time major champion.
The qualifying round of the Brisbane International is scheduled to take place on December 29 and 30. However, The tournament will begin on December 31 and will conclude on January 7, 2024.