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Rafael Nadal Raring To Go, 'Doesn't Care' About Level Upon Return To Professional Tennis At Brisbane International

Spanish tennis titan Rafael Nadal had announced on December 1, 2023 that he will make his comeback at the Australian Open warm-up event in Brisbane, which runs from January 1-7 next year

Rafael Nadal.
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Less than a week after announcing his return to the arena, Spanish tennis titan Rafael Nadal has downplayed concerns about how he will fare, stating that he is simply happy to be back and that he "doesn't care" what level he will be at when he plays the Brisbane International and then the Australian Open in January next year. (Tennis News)
  
Nadal has undergone surgery twice in 2023 after struggling with a hip injury. The 22-time Grand Slam champion has said that next year will probably be his final season before retirement, and announced on December 1, 2023 that he will make his comeback at the Australian Open warm-up event in Brisbane, which runs from January 1-7.

"I don't know at what level (he will play at), I don't know what to expect, I have no idea, but I don't care right now," Nadal said in a video posted on social media platform X (formerly Twitter).

"I'm just happy to be back and with great excitement to make the effort that is necessary to have fun and I believe that I will be competitive." Nadal was last seen in action at the Australian Open in January 2023, losing in the second round to American MacKenzie McDonald.

He had earlier hoped to be fit again for the clay-court season and his pet Grand Slam at Roland Garros - French Open, where he is a 14-time title holder - but had to bow out of his campaign early. The 37-year-old has since slipped to 664th in the world ATP rankings due to his absence.

"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, disappointment after disappointment," said the former world No. 1. 

"Of course I have had many doubts, of course there were moments where it seemed impossible that this moment would come, but we've maintained the work, spirit and hope and I think I am ready," he added.

The Spaniard said he had finally had good training weeks at a level "that allows me to have the possibility to compete again". He further said: "I have gone through many phases, but today I think it's time -- I'm coming back in a tournament that I've played in the past, that I'm familiar with... I know it's a difficult tournament but I hope to be ready to compete, I don't aspire to anything else but to be competitive.”

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