Former World No.3 David Ferrer claims Rafa Nadal could be eyeing a return to competition as soon as the Davis Cup in November despite appearing to rule out a tennis return in 2023. Nadal has not played a grand slam after the Australian Open when he injured his hip during the second round defeat.
While Nadal was expected to make Roland Garros and defend his title, the 14-time champion withdrew and announced he would most likely not return to the court in 2023 as he recovered from injury. Nadal admitted he would rest in an attempt to get back on court in 2024 to play the important tournaments in what could be his last year.
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However, Spanish Davis Cup coach and friend Ferrer has admitted Nadal hinted he could aim to get back onto the court for his nation as soon as November. Speaking to Clay, Ferrer said he would be keen to have the 22-time grand slam champ on court, but only if he was physically ready.
"He was the one who once told me ‘my goal is to have a goal, to reach the Davis Cup at the end of the year if you qualify’. And he is in that process. And be careful, my goal is not to convince him, he is the one who told me that," Ferrer told the publication.
If Nadal was aiming to play for Spain in the David Cup final, it could see him pair with World No.2 Carlos Alcaraz. The pair are yet to compete together for Spain and the tournament could act as a passing of the torch moment.
Alcaraz has always admitted Nadal was his idol growing up and the duo have duelled it out three times with the 37-year-old leading 2-1. Only recently, Alcaraz revealed Nadal had sent him a message wishing him luck ahead of his maiden Wimbledon final.
The young Spaniard defeated Novak Djokovic in a five-set thriller to win his second grand slam. Ferrer spoke last week about the duo playing together and said it would be a 'dream' to unite the fierce competitors.
Rafa Nadal news comes amid tennis layoff
The update comes as a huge step forward for Nadal who has not played since the Australian Open. The man himself admitted the injuries had become a toll on him, but he didn't want to end his career the way it has unfolded in 2023.
“It’s not a decision I’m taking, it’s a decision my body is taking,” he said as he withdrew from Roland Garros. "My goal and my ambition is to try and stop and give myself an opportunity to enjoy the next year that will probably be my last year in the professional tour.
"That is my idea but I can't say 100 per cent it will be like this, but my idea and my motivation is to try to enjoy and say goodbye to all the tournaments that have been important for me.
"To enjoy being competitive and something that today is not possible. I believe, if I keep going now, I will not be able to make it happen."
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