Tiley confirms Nadal will return to Australian Open 2024
Almost three months before the Australian Open, a big return festival is looming at the first major of the new season. In addition to three former women's winners, tournament director Craig Tiley also announced the start of Rafael Nadal , who is currently on hiatus.
by Dietmar Kaspar
last edit: Oct 11, 2023, 11:06 am
Craig Tiley appeared on the “Today” show on Channel 9 in high spirits; after all, the tournament director of the Australian Open had to announce the return of four former champions who, for understandable reasons, stayed away from tournament tennis for a longer period of time.
As a big surprise, the 61-year-old announced Rafael Nadal's comeback to Melbourne Park. The 22-time Grand Slam champion last competed on the tour at this year's Australian Open and communicated during rehab after arthroscopic surgery on the injured left hip flexor that the 2024 season would probably be his last. The 37-year-old's return is now scheduled to take place “down under” in January: “We can exclusively reveal here that Rafa will be back. He's been away for most of the year and when I spoke to him over the last few days he confirmed he's coming back, which we're really excited about," said Tiley.
Three former champions back after maternity leave
It has been clear for some time that Naomi Osaka, Caroline Wozniacki and Angelique Kerber, three former title holders, will compete in the first major of the new season after maternity breaks of varying lengths. Excitedly, Tiley commented: “We are delighted to welcome back the amazing champions Naomi, Angie and Caroline, who lit up the Australian Open and impressed fans with their athleticism, resilience and sportsmanship. We will welcome them and their families back to Melbourne with open arms and can't wait to see what their next chapter brings.
Kyrgios is also planning a comeback
Even if it wasn't enough to win a major singles title, Nick Kyrgios at least had the pleasure of lifting the double trophy in Melbourne in 2022 alongside his friend Thanasi Kokkinakis. Tiley is reluctant to do without the eccentric Australian: “Nick is also doing his utmost to get back to his best and is planning his return to the pitch. We know how much taking part in the Australian Open means to him and he always brings excitement and passion. His amazing brand of tennis and showmanship always add something special to the tournament.