Rafael Nadal - Australian Open 2023

Rafael Nadal reveals he is feeling ‘some discomfort’ ahead of scheduled return

Rafael Nadal is supposed to be making his return to the ATP Tour next week in Doha, however the Spaniard has put doubt over that after providing an update on his physical condition.

Nadal had spent almost a year out of action, following tearing his psoas muscle at the 2023 Australian Open, before making his long awaited return at the Brisbane International last month.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion reached the quarter-finals, but faced a setback when suffering a ‘micro tear’ on a muscle during his defeat to Jordan Thompson.

This forced Nadal to withdraw from the first major of the year in Melbourne, but it appeared not to be too serious after he entered the ATP 250 event in the Qatari capital.

Although, it seems as though Nadal’s participation in Doha could now be in doubt, “I have had some discomfort in recent weeks and I am a little bit on the limit. At this point, every blow I take, every injury, is a setback, not only in tennis and physically, but also mentally.”

Nadal has openly admitted that 2024 is likely to be his final season as a professional tennis player, and he has revealed his next goal is to play the Masters 1000 event in Indian Wells next month.

“I trust 100% to be in Indian Wells, it is a very special tournament for me,” said the three-time Indian Wells champion. “I don’t know if it will be the last time I am going to play it, so I would like to be in Indian Wells, for sure.

“I would love to be in Doha, but I will see the decision for Doha more at the last minute. I will travel to Indian Wells if there is nothing wrong, for sure.”

The former No.1 concluded, “My priority goal, which is what I said from the beginning, is to get to the clay season as healthy as possible. I want to try to give myself the option to enjoy the clay season.”

Inside the baseline…

It is understandable as to why Rafael Nadal is being so cautious about his match play this year, especially after spending so much time on the injury sidelines in 2023. With it looking likely to be his final season on the ATP Tour, Nadal will want to play the biggest tournaments and the events that are most special to him, which is obviously a lot of the clay court swing leading to Roland Garros.

READ MORE: Rafael Nadal refutes accusations he has ‘sold out’ to Saudi Arabia sportswashing

 Join >> Receive $700/£600 of tennis gear from the Tennishead CLUB

 Social >> FacebookTwitter & YouTube

 Read >> World’s best tennis magazine

 Shop >> Lowest price tennis gear from our trusted partner 

Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.