BRISBANE/STARNBERG, December 29, 2023
Rafael Nadal made an appearance at Queen Street Mall on Friday, providing fans with the chance to see him up close and personal ahead of his opening-round match at the Brisbane International presented by Evie.
The 37-year-old Spanish superstar was joined by Brisbane International Tournament Director Cam Pearson for a Q&A session and also signed tennis balls for some lucky fans.
Tennis royalty hits Queen Street Mall 👑
— Brisbane International (@BrisbaneTennis) December 29, 2023
“It’s impossible to think about winning tournaments today,” Nadal said when told World No. 40 Alexei Popyrin of Australia had tipped him to win in Brisbane.
“What’s really possible is to enjoy the comeback…Of course, when you are not on the court, you miss a few things. At the end of the day this is something that I did for almost all my life. So, when you are not able to compete, of course you miss the competition, you miss the fans, you miss playing in the best stadiums, going out and seeing the court full.
“What I missed the most was probably the feeling that you are ready to compete, that you feel ready to enjoy and to go for it.”
Nadal underwent surgery in June and expects 2024 to be his final season on tour. Main-draw action at the Brisbane International begins on 31 December.