Rafael Nadal - Brisbane International 2024

Rafael Nadal ‘will continue for another year’ if fit claims former world No.3

Rafael Nadal is gearing up for a return to action later this week, and his now-retired compatriot David Ferrer believes that the 22-time Grand Slam champion could continue into 2025.

Nadal returned to action last month at the Brisbane International, after nearly a year out following a serious tear to his psoas muscle.

It was at the ATP 250 tournament in Brisbane where Nadal reached the quarter-final, before suffering a ‘micro tear’ on a muscle and subsequently withdrew from the Australian Open.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion was scheduled to return in Doha last week, but he pulled out after revealing that he was ‘not ready’.

Nadal is currently practicing in Indian Wells where he is a three-time champion, although first the Mallorcan will participate in a Netflix exhibition match with Carlos Alcaraz on Sunday.

And Ferrer has been speaking to Marca about whether he thinks Nadal could continue into 2025, despite suggesting this was very likely to be his last year, “Yes, without a doubt. Knowing Rafa a little or a lot, if he does not have physical injuries, I am convinced that he will be competitive.

“It was already shown in the first week of the year in Brisbane that he was at a very high level without barely competing. If he doesn’t have any injuries, he will be competitive and if he is competitive, he will continue for another year.”

Nadal has been very open about the fact that he wants to be at his ‘best level’ for the clay court season, where the 37-year-old has had so much success over the years.

Despite this, Ferrer could not commit to backing the 14-time champion as the favourite for Roland Garros, “Now it’s difficult to say because I haven’t seen him compete. If I watch him play for three weeks to see how he feels and his tennis level, I may have a different perception or I may adjust more to reality.”

Nadal takes on Alcaraz in Las Vegas on Sunday 3rd March, before returning to official ATP action at Indian Wells next week.

Inside the baseline…

It is very difficult to comment on Rafael Nadal’s future at the moment, as his fitness could be such a limiting factor. That being said, the Spaniard does appear to be practicing well and is unlikely to return to competitive action unless he is 100% ready to do so. As an unseeded player, Nadal is sitting as a huge threat for any player in the first round and knows just what it is like to win on the hard courts of Indian Wells.

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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.