In a video shared on social media, the 37-year-old Spaniard disclosed his mindset, saying, “I think I’m ready, and I trust and hope that all goes well and it gives me the opportunity to enjoy myself on the court.I expect from myself to expect nothing.”
Nadal is set to make his comeback at the Brisbane tournament, using it as a warm-up for the Australian Open in Melbourne. After a challenging period of injuries, Nadal’s world ranking has dropped to 663rd, but he remains optimistic about his return to competitive tennis.
“To have the ability not to demand myself what I have demanded myself throughout my career,” Nadal stated, emphasising a shift in his mindset as he embarks on his final year before an expected retirement.
Having been surpassed in Grand Slam titles by Serbian world number one Novak Djokovic, who now has 24 major titles, Nadal is eager to regain his form. He aims to compete at the French Open, a tournament he has won a record 14 times.
Nadal recognizes the unique challenges of his final season, which includes participation in Grand Slam events and the Olympic Games. “I believe I’m in a different moment, situation. I am in unexplored terrain,” he acknowledged, signalling a departure from his usual approach of demanding maximum effort from himself.
“Now what I really hope is to be able not to do that, to accept things are going to be very difficult at the beginning and give myself the necessary time,” Nadal added, highlighting his intention to approach his comeback with patience and acceptance of the difficulties that may arise.
Iconic Rafael Nadal moments over the years
(With inputs from AFP)