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'Hopefully not' my last Australian Open, says Nadal

Updated: Dec 31, 2022

The 22-time Grand Slam winner made the comments after arriving in Sydney for the United Cup.

Rafael Nadal remains hopeful this will not be his last Australian Open ahead of defending the title he won so dramatically in January 2022.

Nadal played his first Australian Open in 2004. Now a father, and with a history of injuries, he was asked at a press conference in Sydney if this could be his last trip to Australia on the ATP Tour.

"As a professional, you never know, hopefully not," he said. "I mean, when you are at the age of 36, you never know when it's going to be the last one. It's obvious, but I don't like to talk about that because I am not in that mood now. I'm just focused on trying to play at the highest level possible and give myself possibilities to keep being competitive, to fight for anything. That's my goal now," he added.

"I'm not thinking about it being my last time here. I am happy doing what I am doing. I'm looking forward to keep doing this."

The Spaniard also welcomed the return to Australia of Novak Djokovic, who was unable to enter the country last year due to his COVID-19 vaccine status.

"Novak is here, good for tennis, good for probably the fans."

The 36-year-old recently became a father. He is beginning the season at the United Cup, a new mixed-teams event starting Thursday in three cities across Australia - Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.

Nadal began the 2022 season in sensational style, winning his first 20 matches as he swept to three titles. But a second half of the year blighted by injuries have cast doubt over the world number two's chances Down Under.

Nevertheless, Nadal said he was up for the challenge as he prepared for his United Cup match against British world number 14 Cameron Norrie. However, an eagerly anticipated clash with Nick Kyrgios will not be happening after the Australian pulled out of the tournament through injury.


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