Rafael Nadal of Spain has struggled in the latter half of this year, nursing a foot injury. As a result, he missed out on Wimbledon, Tokyo Olympics and US Open, along with the ATP Finals. However, he is all set to return from next year, starting with an ATP 250 series event in Australia.
The Spaniard will be competing in the Melbourne event as a build-up ahead of the year’s opening Grand Slam, the Australian Open. The Melbourne Open will be played from January 3, as the tournament will consist of some top players. Kei Nishikori of Japan, Kevin Anderson of South Africa and Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria also participate in the same.
Nadal is currently ranked sixth in the ATP Singles Rankings. It will likely be the only event Nadal takes part in before heading to AO, which gets underway in Melbourne from January 17. The Spaniard has never won the opening GS of the year in over a decade since 2009. It happens to be his only title win in the competition to date.
Following the AO, Nadal is expected to soon move to clay-court action. He will be eyeing a glorious stint in the French Open, slated from May 23. The Spaniard is the record 13-time champion at Roland Garros. However, he was beaten by reigning world number one Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the semis this year, denying his record-breaking 21st GS title.