Rafael Nadal's season will begin at the United Cup. The Majorcan will represent his country in the new team event and will face Australia and Great Britain in Group D. There will be two safe engagements for Nadal: the first against Cameron Norrie and the second with Alex de Minaur due to forfeiting Nick Kyrgios.
Nadal experienced a complicated end of season in 2022 due to the abdominal injury suffered at Wimbledon; injury that prevented him from taking the field in the semifinal on the lawns of the All England Club. The Spaniard, who had won the Australian Open and Roland Garros, thus had to say goodbye to his Grand Slam dream.
Back on the court at the Masters 1000 in Cincinnati, Nadal lost four of his last eight matches leaving the US Open in the round of 16 and the Tournament of Masters without making it past the group stage.
Rafael Nadal: "I don't understand the speculation about my retirement"
Even before his debut in the United Cup, the Majorcan appeared rather upset due to a question posed to him by a journalist: "There is a lot of speculation about your possible retirement.
Are you here in Australia to enjoy every moment, like it's your last year? I don't understand why there is all this speculation about it. If this were to be my last year here in Australia, I would try to enjoy it as much as possible.
But I don't see it that way, that is, with the idea of playing here for the last time. But if that's the case, I'll accept it. However, I hope to be here in 2024 as well." Nadal, once again, has therefore dismissed the rumors of his possible retirement at the end of next season.
After the United Cup, the Spaniard will play the Australian Open directly, where he will try to defend the title conquered in 2022 by beating the Russian Daniil Medvedev in five sets in the final.