In an exclusive interview on Nine's Today on Wednesday, Tiley revealed that he had been in constant communication with eh two-time Australian Open winner, who expressed his wish to mark his tennis comeback in Melbourne.
Tiley did not give further details on whether Nadal will be playing at any warm-up tournament prior to the year's first Grand Slam which is set for a historic Sunday start in 2024. The 37-year-old has won the Australian Open on two occasions, most memorably in 2022 when he defeated Daniil Medvedev in five sets.
Nadal has been gearing up for his return to action by practicing on hard courts after recovering from a hip injury. Tiley believes that Nadal's desire to win remains undiluted which likely explains why he is plotting to to compete there next season.
"We can reveal exclusively here that Rafa will be back. He's been off for most of the year, and in talking to him over the last few days he confirmed he will be back, which we're really excited about. That's awesome.
"He's not going to come into the event unless he thinks he can win it. He's not going to just show up to play, he's going to show up to win. I called him. We stay in touch. You always get your hopes up because you want people like Rafa to be here. He particularly is someone who loves Australia. So far the early signs have been really good."
Although Nadal hasn't shared any details of his timetable, his longtime ex-coach and uncle Toni Nadal shed light on his nephew's comeback plans which align with what Tiley has said. Nadal, for his part, has taken every opportunity to update the tennis fraternity of his progress from a career-threatening hip surgery.
If Nadal does indeed make his comeback Down Under, it will be precisely a year since his last match, which coincidentally was at the Australian Open, falling to a shock straight sets defeat to Mackenzie McDonald in the second round. He was visibly in agony and pain during the match and eventually knew the extent of the damage to his hip, prompting him to shut down his 2023 season.