Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley has confirmed that Rafael Nadal will return to action in Melbourne.
A hip injury has kept the 37-year-old Spaniard sidelined for some time; Among other things, this year he missed his beloved French Open at Roland-Garros, while he was also not part of the Wimbledon action.
“We can exclusively reveal that Rafa will be back,” Tiley said in an interview with Australia’s Nine Network.
“I have spoken to him in the last few days and he has confirmed that he will be in Melbourne. Of course, everyone is very excited about it – after all, he was the champion in 2022.”
The Australian Open will also start on a Sunday for the first time in 2024, which means that the tournament will span 15 days.
“We have listened to the feedback from players and fans and hopefully the extra day will reduce the late night games.”
Nadal, who was on the operating table in June, previously admitted that there is still hard work ahead of him.
“I want to play again, but I know I’m not going to just walk on the court and win in Paris or Melbourne. I am well aware of the obstacles that stand in my way – age is a given, but you can try to overcome physical problems,” Nadal told Movistar+.
The Spaniard has already walked away with the Australian Open laurels twice in his career. In addition to his success in 2022, he also waved the scepter against Roger Federer in 2009 in Melbourne.