Rafael Nadal will make his long-awaited return to singles tennis action next week when he competes at the Paris Masters. He will follow that up by participating in the season-ending Masters’ Cup in Turin as he plays his first solo matches on the tour since he was knocked out of the US Open in August.
Nadal’s only match action since his defeat at Flushing Meadow came alongside Roger Federer at the Laver Cup as he made a special effort to compete in his long-standing friend and rival’s final ever tennis event. There had been questions over whether or not he would compete again in 2022 amid injury niggles and the birth of his first child but he has now put this speculation to rest.
He will first take part in the Paris Masters which gets underway this weekend as he looks to get himself for the season-ending Masters’ Cup in Turin in November. The two tournaments are ones he is yet to win in his success-laden career, giving him the additional impetus to be involved.
Nadal enjoyed something of a renaissance during the first half of the year, winning both the Australian and French Opens as he looked to become the world’s most dominant player again.
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However, he has been somewhat hampered by injuries and personal circumstances for the second part of 2022. He was forced to pull out of Wimbledon ahead of his semi-final with Nick Kyrgios after suffering an abdominal tear before he was knocked out of the Cincinnati Open by world No 152 Borna Coric a month later.
His US Open campaign was also disappointing, losing to Frances Tiafoe in the round of 16. His only match action since has come in the Laver Cup, a special situation due to Federer’s retirement leaving many fans fearing he has suffered from a burn-out, especially after the birth of his son earlier this month.
His wife, Xisca Peralla, was known to have suffered difficulties during her pregnancy and spent weeks in hospital. The situation put a huge mental toll on the 22-time Grand Slam winner, particularly after it became public knowledge, with the Spaniard being a deeply private person.
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Nadal is now almost certainly in his final years in the sport meaning fans hope to enjoy every second that he has left on a match court. As a result, the news that he is set to make his return will likely prove to be popular as the tennis legend looks to add to his ever-growing trophy cabinet.
The Spaniard remains the most successful player in the sport’s history having claimed 22 major titles, one more than Novak Djokovic and two-clear of Federer.