Rafael Nadal is set to come back to the ATP Tour in 2024 even though we don't really know when. According to some reports from Spain, it should happen at the 2024 Australian Open, but we'll have to wait and see whether it truly happens.
The Spaniard has been practicing for a while and has admitted to wanting to come back as soon as possible, and he's hardly the only one.
Plenty of fans want to see him compete again, including Goran Ivanisevic, whose job is to prepare Djokovic against Nadal.
If is true that Rafa is coming, this is for me the best news in tennis. I love Rafa. Is going to be interesting, Rafa not seeded. He can play first round anybody. You don't want to see Rafa first round in the hotel (smiling). It's great for tennis. Rafa will come only if he's 100% It's great for tennis. Rafa will come only if he's 100% ready. And when Rafa is ready, I think he still has something to say in this left arm.
Ivanisevic is very optimistic about Nadal's return because he knows better than to underestimate the legendary player. While Nadal probably sold himself short in his few interviews since starting to practice again, you'd be foolish to think that a healthy Nadal won't be competitive.
Nobody, including himself, doesn't know how his body will react to fierce and competitive battles on the court but there is a lot of optimism. If his body does return then he will certainly be competitive, perhaps even favoured at events like Roland Garros and the Olympic Games. Time will tell though and we're inching closer to finding out.