Fritz on Nadal’s return to Brisbane: “Anyone can play Rafa in the first round, it’s going to be pretty crazy!”

Nadal will make his comeback after a year out in the Brisbane International from December 31, 2023 to January 7, 2024.

Taylor Fritz Rafael Nadal Icon/Panoramic

It was made official on Friday December 1: Rafael Nadal will make his return to competitive tennis in January 2024 after a year’s absence. The Spaniard has chosen to play in the Brisbane International in Australia to prepare for the Australian Open, which takes place in Melbourne from January 14 to 28.

Asked to react to the return of the man who holds 22 Grand Slam titles, Taylor Fritz, ranked 10th in the world, was not surprised by the Spaniard’s announcement. Speaking at a press conference after taking part in the MGM Macau Tennis Masters, the American focused on the possibility that he – and anyone – could face Nadal in the first round.

“I expected it, it’s Rafa,” he said. “I don’t think he was going to retire and not try his luck again, so I expected him to come back at the beginning of the year after the period of rest he’s had. So I think it’s good news for tennis as a whole.”


Taylor Fritz

“I think it might be difficult. He might be a bit rusty. I think it’s going to be pretty crazy to have him in draws where he’s not seeded. Anyone can play Rafa in the first round, so it will be pretty crazy!”

“He’s Rafa, so I think even if he’s a bit rusty coming back or he needs a bit of time, he’s still going to play really well and it’s still going to be difficult for a lot of guys to play him early and in the draw simply because he’s not seeded.”

Nadal has not played since losing to Mackenzie McDonald in the second round of the Australian Open, where he injured his hip psoas muscle.

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