World number 10 Taylor Fritz believes that 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal’s return is going to be pretty crazy. Nadal is set to participate in the Brisbane International, set to begin on December 31.
Rafael Nadal, who is 37 years old, has not played any form of tennis since he was defeated by Mackenzie McDonald in the second round of the Australian Open 2023. In May this year, Nadal held a press conference at his academy to announce that he would not be participating in the 2023 French Open.
Speaking to Eurosport, Fritz stated that he knew that Rafael Nadal was not going to retire. He noted that his return is good for tennis overall. Nadal sustained a hip injury in the Australian Open 2023 that has kept him out of the game for a significant amount of time.
“I mean, I expected that, it’s Rafa. I don’t think that he was ever going to just retire and not give it another go, so I definitely, after the amount of time he’s had off, I expected him to come back to start the year. So I think that it’s good news for tennis as a whole,” said Fritz.
Fritz said that Rafael Nadal may be a bit rusty, while adding that his return will be crazy since he will be unseeded. Nadal is currently ranked No.663 on the ATP circuit and will be outside the seeds on his return and will be contesting in the opening round of matches.
“I think that maybe it’s going to be tough. Maybe he might be a little bit rusty. I think it’s going to be pretty crazy having him in draws where he’s going to be unseeded. So anybody can play Rafa in the first round, so it’s going to be pretty crazy. He’s still going to be playing really well and he’s still going to be tough for a lot of guys to play early and draws as well just because of him being unseeded,” Fritz added.