Rafael Nadal: 22-time Grand Slam champion set to make tennis return at Qatar Open in February | Tennis News

Rafael Nadal: 22-time Grand Slam champion set to make tennis return at Qatar Open in February | Tennis News

Rafael Nadal is set to return to tennis in February at the Qatar Open after missing the Australian Open due to a muscle tear.

Nadal made a comeback at the start of this year at the Brisbane International, where he reached the quarter-finals in his first competitive tournament in nearly 12 months.

The 37-year-old will be back in action in the week beginning February 19 in Doha – live on Sky Sports – as he looks to build up to the French Open in May, where he is a 14-time champion.

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He has stated there is a “high percentage” this year will be his last season before retirement after struggling with injury in recent years.

“The problem about saying it’s going to be my last season is that I can’t predict what’s going on 100 per cent in the future. That’s why I say ‘probably’,” said Nadal at the start of this year.

“It’s obvious it’s a high percentage that it’s going to be my last time playing in Australia. But if I’m here next year, don’t tell me, ‘you said it’s going to be your last season’ because I didn’t say it.

“You never know what’s going on, you know? I can’t predict how I’m going to be in the next six months. I can’t predict if my body will allow me to enjoy tennis as much as I enjoyed the past 20 years.”

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Strange noises from the local surroundings as to the chaos of an engrossing final point as Rafael Nadal is knocked out of the Brisbane International by Jordan Thompson

In an interview on December 13 with Spanish newspaper El Pais, Nadal said he was already thinking about the French Open, where he has won 14 of his major titles.

“When I arrive in Paris, I will know if it is my last year. And there will be a prior announcement,” he added.

“There will have passed five months on the circuit and I’ll know my reality: one can sense these things, but until he feels them he cannot do anything.”

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