Rafael Nadal gives biggest hint yet that he is closing in on a comeback..


Rafael Nadal is hard at “work” trying to regain full fitness ahead of his return to competitive action with the tennis great giving his fans a teaser about his rehabilitation.

2FYTPCC Rafael Nadal of Spain jokes with Iga Swiatek of Poland – they practice together 20 minutes – ahead of the French Open 2021, a Grand Slam tennis tournament at Roland-Garros stadium on May 29, 2021 in Paris, France – Photo Jean Catuffe / DPPI


After sustaining a serious injury during the Australian Open in January, Nadal spent several weeks on the sidelines as he hoped to nurse his way back to full fitness.



However, that particular strategy did not work as he was eventually forced to withdraw from the French Open and in June he underwent hip surgery with his team of doctors revealing that the recovery process will likely take five months.




Although he had not officially ruled out a return to action in 2023, it was generally accepted that Nadal would only make his comeback in early 2024 as he had confirmed during a press conference that next year is set to be his last year on the ATP Tour.




There had been talk that he could feature for Spain if they qualify for the Davis Cup Finals in November, but it is very much a case of wait and see for the 37-year-old.



But Nadal has clearly upped his rehab in recent weeks as on Thursday he shared a post on Instagram from Porto Cristo, off the coast of his home in Mallorca, Spain, with the caption: “Working 🏊♂️ ✔️”.

It was the first time in several weeks that he had posted a fitness-related update and his fans will no doubt be delighted to see that he is on his way back.



Nadal’s former coach and uncle, Toni Nadal, had also recently given an update about the former world No 1’s plans following surgery.



“Rafa is fine, recovering. If everything goes well, he wants to return to the courts for the 2024 Australian Open,” Toni said in an interview with ElDesmarque de Cuatro.



Nadal played only four matches this year as he lost both his rubbers for Spain at the inaugural United Cup in Australia and then won his opening match at the 2023 Australian Open.



However, his title defence at Melbourne Park came to an end in the second round as he was stunned in straight sets by Mackenzie McDonald. He also picked up a hip injury in the match and it proved to be a lot more serious than initially thought as he has kept him out of action for eight months.



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