Rafael Nadal has set expectations low for fans ahead of his return at the Brisbane International next year, stating that he has no aspirations expect to be competitive once again at the highest level of the game.
After a year-long time on the sidelines owing to a hip injury, the Spaniard will return Down Under, kicking off proceedings with the ATP 250 event in Brisbane.
At the event, he will be joined by the likes of three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray, Holger Rune, Ben Shelton and Grigor Dimitrov.
Speaking in a new video he posted on social media on Wednesday, Nadal spoke on the circumstances surrounding his injury, revealing that he took the decision to opt for surgery after many failed attempts to continue playing though the pain.
Now, however, after a few good training weeks, the 37-year-old is confident about his ability to compete once again, even if the Brisbane draw appears “difficult” on paper.
Regardless, Nadal is not coming into the tournament with much expectation, as he is primarily focused on himself and his need to be competitive on the court again.
“It’s been a long year in which I’ve gone through many phases, from trying to get back to compete at the clay season week after week. Then I had to decide to stop and say enough and look for a definite solution, which was the surgery. Since then, everything has been a new horizon, a different path, but always with the hope of coming back.”
“I have finally had good training weeks at a level that allows me the possibility to compete again. I have gone through many phases, but I today I think it’s time: I’m coming back in a tournament, a 250 tournament. I know it’s a difficult tournament but I hope to be ready to compete. I don’t aspire to anything else — to be competitive,” Rafael Nadal said.