'Concerned He Wasn't Going To Be Ready': Tiley Explains Why Nadal's Return Took Time

'Concerned He Wasn't Going To Be Ready': Tiley Explains Why Nadal's Return Took Time

by Nurein Ahmed

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley has shed light on Rafael Nadal's decision to delay his return to tennis.

Nadal, 37, has spent the past 11 months out of action, but not the limelight, after aggravating a hip injury at the 2023 Australian Open. The Spaniard was sent packing in the second round of this year's first Grand Slam and would never be seen again on tour.

But having recovered from what doctors considered a career-ending injury, Nadal is preparing to play at least one more year on the ATP Tour. His comeback tour will be the ATP 250 event in Brisbane, which begins on December 31.

Nadal and Tiley have been in constant communication, and the Australian tennis executive has explained why the announcement of Nadal's comeback took time. Speaking to reporters on Monday, Tiley stated that Nadal was "concerned" that his body might not be ready for competition by January 2024.

"It's fun talking to Rafa, that's why this job is great...what a beautiful person. He's healthy; he's practicing well, he's playing like Rafa plays and going all out. It took a while to make the announcement simply because he wanted to make sure he was going to be able to come and play."

Tiley as quoted on The West Australian

Nadal has been training regularly since leaving the hospital bed in June. Having begun with light exercises at his academy, he has since taken more intense practice sessions in recent weeks to build his fitness and sharpen his tennis skills.

While the fans are all anticipating a farewell season, Nadal's resilience and tenacity mean that he is aiming to compete, too, with his longtime coach and uncle, Toni Nadal, backing him to hit the ground running on his return. The 22-time Grand Slam champion will continue preparing by practicing with French teenage star Arthur Fils at his academy in Kuwait.


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