Tiger Woods voices hope for a Rafael Nadal comeback amid El Nino’s plan for extra stop in Australia

This season will be one that Rafael Nadal would love to forget in a hurry. The Spaniard has missed nearly all of 2023 since he sustained a hip injury while playing against Mackenzie McDonald in the second round of the Australian Open back in January. The sideline meant that Nadal had missed four and a half years of Grand Slam competition.

However, since CEO Craig Tiley announced the Spanish star return in 2024 Australian Open, tennis fans and lovers are eagerly waiting for his first touch on the court, which will likely come before Melbourne.

Woods voices hopes for Nadal’s return

Legendary golfer Tiger Woods has urged tennis fans to enjoy watching Rafael Nadal compete while he is still able to play, as the Spaniard prepares to ahead of 2024 comeback season to tennis after lengthy injury lay-off. Rafael Nadal is yet to play in any game this season since he lost in the second round of the 2023 Australian Open to MacKenzie McDonald.

Tiger Woods, who is no stranger to extended spells on the sidelines, was asked how athletes like himself and Nadal are able to stay motivated amid so many injury setbacks. “Well, I think what Rafa, what he’s done is extraordinary,” Woods said. “I mean, he won the Australian Open on a broken foot. The guy is beyond tough and beyond competitive.”

Rafael Nadal

“He knows that Father Time is here. Every athlete faces it. Although in some sports it happens faster than others, and unfortunately, just like every sport, you get aged out. I don’t want to see him go. I never wanted to see Fed [Roger Federer] go, but that’s what happened. We should all enjoy watching him compete and watching him play and what he’s meant to the game, what he’s meant to all of us, just to see the passion of how he plays and why he plays,” Tiger Woods added.

Last year, Rafael Nadal called Tiger Woods his only idol and “a big legend of the sport, one of the greatest sportsmen of all time.”

Rafael Nadal set for extra tournament in Australia

In September, Rafael Nadal brought to an end the rumors and speculation about his comeback plans, when he told Eurosport his target is the Australian Open 2024 return to competitive tennis. Meanwhile, According to reports from Spanish outlets, Rafael Nadal is considering playing the ATP 250 Tour tournament in Brisbane, Australia, before making a final decision on whether to participate in the Australian Open.

This strategic decision points to the fact the Spaniard is seeking means to assess his physical condition and his readiness for a grueling Grand Slam tournament. Spanish journalist Pedro Fulana made this known with confidence in Nadal’s potential participation in the tournament in Brisbane, stating that it will serve as a key assessment towards his return to Melbourne in January 14. The Brisbane tournament begins from Dec 31 2023 and end on the 7 January, 2024.

Also, Fulana added that Rafael Nadal’s decision to play in Brisbane would be a strong indication of his willingness to compete at the highest level once again. Nadal, who has won the Australian Open twice, will prove significant dominance, resilience and exceptional skill if he makes it to the hard court of Melbourne Park.

Victor Okechukwu

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