Rafael Nadal, who will make his return to competition in Brisbane (Australia) in January, said on Thursday that it was "normal that this is (his) last year" on the tennis court without "guaranteeing it 100%". "In my mind, it's normal or very likely that this is my last year and I'm going to enjoy every tournament as if it is, but I don't want to announce it as such because at the end of the day you don't know what can happen," Nadal, 37, said in a video posted on his social media.
The former world No. 1, who has fallen to 664th in the ATP rankings after a near-blank 2023 season due to a hip injury, insisted that "you always have to give yourself an opportunity and not say something that you might regret afterwards." "I can't 100 percent guarantee" that this will be the last year "because at the end of the day I've worked hard to get back to competing, and if things and the physique allow me to move forward and enjoy what I'm doing, I think it doesn't make sense to set a limit for yourself," he added.
Things that I don't have the ability to answer at the moment.
There's a lot of possibilities that it's my last year, that it's just half a year, that it's a full year, that we can't get to all of that, those are things that I don't have the ability to respond to at the moment," the 22-time Grand Slam winner continued.
I am only able to say that I am returning to competition," said Nadal, who reiterated that he did not deserve "to end (his) sporting career in a press room". Rafael Nadal, who announced on Friday that he would play the ATP 250 tournament in Brisbane from Dec. 31 to Jan. 7, has not played an official match since losing in the second round of the Australian Open last January.