The legendary Spaniard missed the 2024 Australian Open due to a muscle tear. This was in the same area as the hip injury that sidelined him for nearly a year, but fortunately, it is not as serious an issue.
In fact, Nadal is set to return at the Qatar Open. This event starts on February 19th, and the Qatar Open entry list has many other excellent players set to feature, such as Daniil Medvedev and Andy Murray.
The 14-time French Open champion will be hoping to find some momentum for his favorite clay court tournaments later in the season. Despite his time out, Novak Djokovic says Nadal is still the favorite at Roland Garros if he plays.
Nadal's phenomenal success in Paris was brought back into focus when he recently sold the racket he used to triumph at the 2007 French Open. This was during his 6-3 4-6 6-3 6-4 final victory against Roger Federer, and the racket sold for a considerable sum of money.
As reported by ESPN, Nadal's 2007 French Open racket sold for $118.206 at an online auction. This ranks as among the highest-priced such memorabilia and shows just how much the purchaser wanted the racket.
Nadal's racket was also used in his semifinal win against Djokovic, which is likely to be another reason for the high price that was paid. The racket was previously housed in the Australian Tennis Museum prior to its recent closure.
Other high individual tennis racket auction sales include Nadal's Australian Open 2022 racket ($139,700), Billie Jean King's "Battle of the Sexes" racket ($125,000), and Djokovic's 2016 French Open racket. ($107,482).
If Nadal managed to claim a 15th French Open title this year, that racket may sell for the highest amount yet.