Rafael Nadal - Australian Open 2022

Rafael Nadal ‘intends to win a Grand Slam’ on return, says Novak Djokovic

Rafael Nadal is coming back to tennis to win titles no matter what he says, according to Novak Djokovic at least.

Nadal is in Australia ahead of the 2024 season, which he announced would be his last in tennis earlier this year.

He has always been very consistent in attempting to manage people’s expectations, insisting that he is not thinking about winning tournaments and only wants to compete on the ATP Tour in his final year.

Djokovic, though, does not see that being the case. He has played Nadal 59 times – a record for two players in tennis – and he knows how much he wants to win titles.

“I always expect him to play at his best, to be honest,” Djokovic told AFP.

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“Many times they’ve signed him out, they’ve done that with me as well, but we’ve proved them wrong.

“He’s not a kind of a player that will come back to the tour just to play, let’s say, on a medium level, play a few matches.

“He wants to win titles, he wants to be the best, that’s why he is who he is – a legend of our sport.

“I’m sure that his training and preparation is done with an intention to win a Grand Slam.”

Rafael Nadal ‘will return to his top level’

It seems that Novak Djokovic is not the only top tennis player that Rafael Nadal is failing to convince with his downplaying of his post-injury level.

Carlos Alcaraz has also expressed doubts that Nadal could possibly come back unprepared, and that view has been informed by some of the 37-year-old’s practice partners too, which have included Holger Rune.

“I think he’s ready,” Alcaraz said. “I saw some videos of him practicing. He looks 100%.

“I hear from other players that they practiced with Rafa in these past weeks and they said that he’s going to return to his good level. His top level.

“I think he’s ready for great things this year as well.”

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Michael Graham, Editor, has been a professional sports journalist for his whole career and is especially passionate about tennis. He's been the Editor of for over 5 years and loves watching live tennis by visiting as many tournaments as possible. Michael specialises in writing in-depth features about the ATP & WTA tours.