Nadal downplays title hopes in Brisbane return

Photo of Nadal as return to Brisbane.

Rafa Nadal conveyed that the idea of winning tournaments remains “impossible” for him as he prepares for his highly awaited comeback at the Brisbane International. Having been sidelined for nearly a year due to a hip injury, the 22-time Grand Slam champion, who is gearing up for the Australian Open next month, encountered this setback during his second-round defeat at Melbourne Park in January. Following a surgical procedure in June, Nadal opted out of the remainder of the season.

Despite his competitors, including the world number one Novak Djokovic, expecting a competitive resurgence, the 37-year-old played down the likelihood of winning titles in what is presumed to be his final season on the tour.

“I currently find it impractical to contemplate winning tournaments,” Nadal shared with the Australian Associated Press on Friday. “What is genuinely achievable is relishing the comeback. I don’t hold high expectations… after a year away from the court.”

In recent months, Nadal has intensified his training regimen and participated in practice sessions with the eighth-ranked player in the world, Holger Rune, at the Queensland Tennis Centre since arriving in Australia on Thursday.

Although the Spaniard, now positioned at 672nd in the world rankings, acknowledged feeling considerably better than a year ago, he stressed that outlining long-term objectives is not currently viable.

“I cannot predict how events will unfold,” Nadal stated. “I refrain from attempting to forecast short-term outcomes, and it’s even more challenging for the medium term. I must embrace challenges and recognize that achieving perfection is elusive. The key is approaching each day with the right mindset.” The Brisbane International commences on Sunday, while the Australian Open spans from Jan. 14 to 28.


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