The renowned “ King of Clay” Rafael Nadal is set to return to action on February 19 at the ATP 250 Doha championships in Qatar. The Spaniard has been sidelined for five weeks after sustaining a micro tear muscle on the same hip he had surgery on in 2023.The Last time we saw Nadal on court was during his excreuating battle against Aussie Jordan Thompson which saw Nadal losing in three sets in the Brisbane international quarter-final His return to the event will be his second tournament since the Australia Open in 2023. 

The former world no.1 remains optimistic regarding his aspirations in being competitive on the tour. However, the micro tear injury has created fresh concerns that the 37-year-old may have played his last professional tour-level match in Australia. Now focusing on his objectives for this calendar year which could be his last year. There is strong optimism that Rafael Nadal will compete in the “sunshine swing” masters tournament in Indian Wells and Miami. Both tournaments in which Nadal has won in previous years. The 22-time major champion has confirmed his involvement in the Riyadh season exhibition event in Saudi Arabia which begins in October this year. 

 

Nadal is feeling confident and has intensified his training sessions this week and is ready to rejoin his fellow competitors and to reconvene his aspiration to return to his “A-game” once more. This will be the Spaniard’s first appearance in Doha since 2016 and his second tournament returning from a year-long absence from the tour.

Rehab after Brisbane

After exiting Brisbane and flying back home, the 37-year-old began a recovery process that will enable a quick return to the circuit. With just over a week to go, that comeback is now just around the corner. Confidence is brewing after each training session and restored great belief for Nadal to capture his second Qatar ATP 250 title. His last triumph came in 2013 defeating veteran Frenchman Gael Monfils.He also reached the final in two further occasions (2013, 2016).

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About the author
Kwadwo Larson
Sports Journalist Graduate - UCFB Wembley