The big question everyone seems to be asking is when will Rafael Nadal make a comeback to tennis. Nadal has been out of competitive tennis action since the US Open and was tipped to return during the Paris Masters but there has been no update that’s been forthcoming since then.
Nadal has already had multiple fitness concerns around his knee and this year, has already pulled out of the Australian Open and US Open because of injuries to his leg. In the first major of the year, Nadal suffered a right leg injury while at Flushing Meadows, it was a right knee that gave way to a retirement against Juan Martin del Potro.
And he had also withdrawn from the ATP World Tour Finals in 2017 because of a similar injury too. Interestingly for a champion player that Nadal is, he has never won the World Tour Finals even once in his career and he would hope to return and feature in the tournament this year.
The other reason why Nadal would hope to make a comeback latest by the year-ending competition is Novak Djokovic is breathing down his neck at the top of the ATP Rankings. Djokovic is only 215 points behind Nadal on the charts and if Nadal misses the Paris Masters and Djokovic makes it through to the latter stages of the tournament, he would have taken over the top spot.
There’s obviously the World Tour Finals too where a further 1000 points will be on offer but Djokovic is in far too fine a fettle for anyone to then have a realistic chance of gunning him down the rankings.
For now, however, not too many know of Nadal’s immediate future plans. Even Guy Forget, the tournament director at the Paris Masters, who had questioned Roger Federer’s decision to skip the tournament time and again, was guarded in his response to this question.
He said Nadal had been “practicing privately in Majorca”, but was quick to add that it didn’t equate to being match-fit at the Masters. Forget also said he had been in touch with Nadal’s management and not the player himself.
Nadal has had a brilliant year already despite not going the distance at three of the four Grand Slams. He won the French Open but other than that, he was a champion at the Monte-Carlo Masters, Barcelona Open, Rome Masters and the Rogers Masters to consolidate his number one ranking.
It was Djokovic’s Wimbledon and US Open along with the fact he hadn’t played too much in the latter half of the previous year that has allowed him to get to within 215 points of the Spaniard.