Rafael Nadal Plays Down Expectations Before Brisbane International Return


   Rafael Nadal Prepares for Comeback, Sets Low Expectations

Former world number one, Rafael Nadal, anticipates his return to the tennis courts next month with tempered expectations. The 37-year-old, who has been sidelined since last January due to a hip injury, is gearing up for the Brisbane tournament as a warm-up to the Australian Open in Melbourne. Currently ranked 663rd globally, Nadal is entering his final year on the professional circuit before his anticipated retirement.

In a video shared on social media, Nadal expressed readiness for his comeback, stating, "I think I'm ready, and I trust and hope that all goes well and it gives me the opportunity to enjoy myself on the court." Despite his illustrious career as a 22-time Grand Slam winner, Nadal emphasized that he expects nothing from himself this time.

The Spanish tennis star acknowledges the changed circumstances since his injury, during which Serbian player Novak Djokovic has surpassed him in the number of Grand Slam titles. Djokovic now holds 24 major titles.

Nadal's focus is set on returning to peak form for the Australian Open, with a long-term goal of competing in the French Open, a tournament he has won a record 14 times. The upcoming season is expected to be busy for Nadal, including participation in Grand Slam events and the Olympic Games, where he clinched singles gold in Beijing 2008 and doubles gold in Rio 2016.

Reflecting on his current situation, Nadal remarked, "I believe I'm in a different moment, a different situation. I am in unexplored terrain." He emphasized a shift in mindset, expressing a desire to avoid the usual self-imposed pressure and to accept the initial challenges, allowing himself the necessary time to readjust to competitive play.