Rafael Nadal - Australian Open 2023

Rafael Nadal ‘wants to return for the Australian Open’ claims former coach

Rafael Nadal is hoping to return for the 2024 Australian Open according to his uncle and former coach Toni Nadal, who claims that Novak Djokovic ‘is without a doubt the best’.

Nadal has been out of action for eight months, after losing in the second round of this year’s Australian Open, suffering with a hip injury.

As a consequence, the 22-time Grand Slam champion was forced to miss his beloved Roland Garros for the first time since 2004, and has since fallen out of the top 200.

Nadal has implied that 2024 will be his final year on the ATP tour and after undergoing a successful surgery earlier this summer, his uncle has revealed his plan for the coming months.

“Rafa is good, recovering,” revealed his coach of 27-years. “If all goes well he wants to return to the court for the 2024 Australian Open.”

Toni Nadal also commented on his nephew’s rival Novak Djokovic adding another major title to his tally at the US Open, weighing into the GOAT debate.

“Djokovic is a great champion and it will be very difficult to reach him, not only for my nephew, but for anyone,” said Toni. “It’s very difficult to determine who is the best in history…you have to opt for Djokovic because the titles support him.

“Although I think [Roger] Federer has sometimes managed to play at an even higher level, I think in the world of sport if we go by the numbers, Djokovic is without a doubt the best.”

Despite Toni suggesting that the goal for Rafael Nadal is to return at the Australian Open, Spanish Davis Cup captain David Ferrer has claimed there is a chance he will return at the Davis Cup Finals if Spain qualify.

Roger Federer vs Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal

The ‘big three’ have dominated men’s tennis in the 21st century, winning 66 of the last 81 major singles tournaments.

However, the age old debate is always about who is really the greatest of all time, so we at Tennishead wanted to delve into the numbers:

Rafael Nadal 

Career-high: No.1 (209 weeks)

ATP titles: 92

Grand Slam titles: 22

ATP Masters 1000 titles: 36

Olympic medals: 2 (Singles Gold – 2008, Doubles Gold – 2016)

ATP Finals titles: 0 (Best result: Final – 2010 & 2013)

Davis Cup titles: 5 (2004, 2008, 2009, 2011 & 2019)

Novak Djokovic 

Career-high: No.1 (390 weeks*)

ATP titles: 96

Grand Slam titles: 24

ATP Masters 1000 titles: 39

Olympic medals: 1 (Singles Bronze – 2008)

ATP Finals titles: 6 (2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2022)

Davis Cup titles: 1 (2010)

*Currently the ATP No.1

Roger Federer

Career-high: No.1 (310 weeks)

ATP titles: 103

Grand Slam titles: 20

ATP Masters 1000 titles: 28

Olympic medals: 2 (Doubles Gold – 2008, Singles Silver – 2012)

ATP Finals titles: 6 (2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2010 & 2011)

Davis Cup titles: 1 (2014)


Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic: 29-30

Rafael Nadal vs Roger Federer: 24-16

Novak Djokovic vs Roger Federer: 27-23

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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.