Rafa Nadal 2024, the return


The Spanish tennis player Rafa Nadal returns to action with the new year after a blank season and under the warning that 2024 could be his professional farewell, big words for being probably the best Spanish athlete in history.

The 2024 that has just begun will be a year full of the best sport, as always, with great events such as the Paris Olympic Games in the summer, but for the Spanish fan it has a special and singular importance due to the mixed feeling that in every step they take Nadal may be implying a farewell.

An unparalleled athlete at the national level for his victories, for the epic, the sacrifice, the dedication and the dedication for more than 20 years to try to be the best. A bag of performances to remember, of great achievements, of determination in the face of adversity, of a winning mentality, forged through hard routine until he became one of the best athletes in history.

Brisbane is the starting point, the return of the champion of 22 'greats' after his defeat in the second round of the Australian Open on January 18, already suffering from an injury to the iliopsoas muscle in his left leg. Nadal, 37 years old and accustomed but also tired of dealing with pain, found himself with the ordeal of his body after a titanic 2022.

From Melbourne, the man from Manacor added weeks and months of recovery, until he underwent surgery and was already thinking about 2024, which starts precisely in Australia. It is not the first time that the Spaniard has to work hard in the gym and on the training courts to compete again, due to his knees, back, abdomen, wrist or a chronic foot injury.

The Spanish tennis player has tried to balance the calendar in recent years, select the tournaments and extend his career as much as possible. However, the challenge and toll of getting injured, starting from scratch and not being able to get into the rhythm of competition, have taken a toll on an injured body and a tired head despite being privileged.

Nadal, a father for the first time in October 2022, was able to continue winning, like at Roland Garros that year with his foot numb from injections, but his day-to-day life stopped being about enjoying tennis. Thus, on May 18, the man from Manacor announced a “full stop” to give himself the opportunity to say goodbye on the slopes.

Almost a year later, the king of the land returns as world number 672, with a stop in Brisbane before the Australian Open. After a year without competing, Nadal undoubtedly plans to go match by match, with the desire to receive good sensations from his body and not have any setbacks: another injury would be fatal. Without a doubt, week-by-week physical condition will mark your 2024 calendar.

What the Balearic Islands will not risk for sure is the European dirt tour in spring. The clay where his legend was born and grew up awaits Manacor with open arms: Monte Carlo, Barcelona, ​​Madrid, Rome and Paris. On Sunday, June 9, the final of Roland Garros, a dream still distant, the 15th Musketeers Cup, but in this story of the comeback anything can happen with Rafa Nadal.

It won't be long before doubts begin to clear up or accumulate. The champion of 92 tournaments, more than 1,000 victories, more than 20 years as a professional, enters “unexplored territory.” The inactivity worries the former world number one, as well as the difficulty he may have in finding the rhythm that comes with victories, taking into account that he will not be seeded and may encounter important rivals already in the first rounds.

Nadal always knew how to enjoy small battles and competing again is already a good thing. Now, he wants to enjoy again, celebrate with his fist the winning points that bear his signature, shout 'let's go' and, if all goes well, bite trophies again in a 2024 that is also Olympic: Paris 2024, in 'his' Philippe Chatrier.