Rafael Nadal comeback in symmetry with fellow sporting icon

Rafael Nadal set for 2024 farewell after pulling out of French Open

Rafael Nadal could make his long-awaited comeback from injury at the same time as legendary golfer Tiger Woods. The two sporting icons have endured an injury-hit year but have been tipped to return to action by January. Nadal is reportedly eyeing up the 2024 Australian Open for his comeback, while Woods should be ready to play by the time the new TGL, which he co-founded with Rory McIlroy, gets underway on January 9.

Nadal, 37, last appeared on the court when he lost to Mackenzie McDonald at the Australian Open at the start of this year. He has since been sidelined with a hip injury and missed the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.

The Spaniard’s return at the first Grand Slam of next year was confirmed by Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley in October as he told The Today Show: “We can reveal exclusively here that Rafa will be back. He’s been off for most of the year and in talking to him over the last few days he confirmed he will be back, which we’re really excited about, the champion of 2022. That’s awesome.”

Nadal then responded to Tiley’s claim on X (formerly Twitter) as he wrote: “I appreciate the vote of confidence from the Australian Open. I am practising every day and working hard to come back asap.”

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Woods, meanwhile, has been away from the golf course since April’s Augusta Masters. The 47-year-old has rarely played since a car crash in early 2021 due to the injuries he sustained in the accident and withdrew from the Masters during the third round because of a foot injury.

“I am disappointed to have to WD this morning due to reaggravating my plantar fasciitis,” he wrote on X at the time. “Thank you to the fans and to @TheMasters who have shown me so much love and support. Good luck to the players today!”

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Woods has recently been seen caddying for his teenage son Charlie and, according to the Hindustan Times, he is hovering on a possible return. This month’s Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, which is hosted by Woods, has one spot vacant – and the veteran American could take it.

If he doesn’t compete in that tournament, December’s PNC Championship is another option. But if he has to wait until the New Year before he is ready to play again, sports fans across the world will see two heroes returning at the same time. And those fans will surely want to make the most of witnessing the players competing at the top of their respective sports before the duo ultimately call time on their illustrious careers.

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