Rafael Nadal roars back with ‘emotional and important’ win after injury

Rafael Nadal roars back with ‘emotional and important’ win after injury

The world's number one tennis player, Novak Djokovic, expressed his joy at the return of 22-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal to the tour by sharing a special post on Instagram. 

Nadal, who had been sidelined due to injury for nearly a year, marked his comeback with a strong performance at the Brisbane Open, defeating 2020 US Open champion Dominic Thiem in the round of 32 with a convincing score of 7-5, 6-1. The match lasted for an hour and 30 minutes, showcasing Nadal's return to form.

In response to Nadal's comeback, Djokovic took to Instagram to extend a warm welcome, a gesture he also extended to the returning players Naomi Osaka and Emma Raducanu, both champions in their own right with four Grand Slam titles and the 2021 US Open victory, respectively.

Nadal's recent victory against Thiem improved his head-to-head record to 10-6. His absence from the tennis scene was attributed to a hip injury suffered during a match against Mackenzie MacDonald in the second round, leading to surgery in June and an intensive rehabilitation process. 

By June 2023, Nadal had dropped out of the top 100 in the ATP rankings for the first time in two decades. During his recovery, he missed notable events like the French Open, US Open, and Wimbledon.

Looking ahead, Nadal is set to participate in the men's singles event at the Australian Open 2024, scheduled to commence on January 14. With previous victories at Rod Laver Arena in 2009 and 2022, Nadal aims to add another title to his impressive tally.

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