Rafael Nadal - US Open 2022

Rafael Nadal says it is ‘impossible’ for him to win titles at the moment

Rafael Nadal says it is ‘impossible’ for him to think about winning any tournaments at the moment although he is more than happy with how he is feeling on court.

Nadal only played two matches in the 2023 season, both at the Australian Open nearly a year ago, before having to withdraw from the ATP Tour due to injury.

That saw him concerned about his future in tennis and announce that the upcoming season, if he made it, would be the final one of his career.

After a year out and hip surgery, he has arrived in Australia ready to make his comeback, although he says he shouldn’t be considered a contender for titles yet.

“I can’t complain,” Nadal said when asked about his physical condition ahead of the new season. “I feel much better today than I expected.

“For me, it’s impossible to think about winning a tournament today. But what is possible, is to enjoy the comeback.

“I don’t expect much, one year without being on court.”

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Rafael Nadal ‘dangerous to anyone’

Rafael Nadal is going to add a serious level of added intrigue to the 2024 Australian Open and that’s certainly causing a buzz.

A big part of that is due to, as he says, his level being a bit of a mystery. Nadal, after all, attempted a comeback from injury at the end of 2022 and his level was a long way short of what was needed.

We also, though, know that he do remarkable things, like he did when he won the 2022 Australian Open with a badly injured foot.

Of course, the other element of intrigue Nadal adds is that no one knows where he will land in the draw. He is using protected ranking for the tournament, but that only gets him into the draw. It doesn’t get him seeded.

He could, therefore, face a top player in the first round, and one of the top four seeds (Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev or Jannik Sinner) will get him in their quarter.

And, despite  his injury problems and lack of tennis in the last year, many in tennis believe Nadal should not be written off and can still beat anyone in Melbourne.

“Rafa has been out of action for a long time and therefore everyone thinks that physically, given his age and the major injuries in his career, he is not in good shape,“ Patrick Mouratoglou said.

“But, let’s be clear, if Rafa is physically well, he is dangerous for anyone. It will be interesting to see Nadal on the court, because many young players have improved while he was out and therefore everyone can’t wait to see him on the court.

“Then without a doubt the Roland Garros will be the most important tournament of his season.

“No one knows how Nadal really feels, only he can know his physical condition. This will be fundamental to see his real level in 2024.”

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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.