Nadal’s Intense Training with 17-Year-Old Prodigy: Eagerly Awaiting Australian Open Draw

After nearly a year of absence, Rafael Nadal is ready to return. The Spanish tennis player is currently training with 17-year-old French tennis player Gabriel Debru at the Nadal Academy in Mallorca, Spain. The legendary tennis player is preparing to attend the ATP 250 tournament in Brisbane (Australia), marking his return.

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Rafael Nadal (right) practices with young tennis player Gabriel Debru

This is of course just a step forward in Nadal’s preparation plan for the Australian Open 2024. As noted, Nadal is in good form and in good shape on the practice field.

Gabriel Debru is a young tennis player, born in 2005 and will celebrate his 18th birthday on December 21. The young French tennis player’s ranking on the ATP rankings is 311. Debru is nearly 20 years younger than Nadal, “practicing” at the Nadal Academy.

After nearly a year of not competing due to abdominal, hip, foot and other serious injuries, Rafael Nadal has high expectations for the Australian Open 2024. However, because he has been out of competition for too long, Nadal has fallen. Ranked 664 ATP with only 45 points.

According to common sense, a player ranked 664 has no way to directly qualify to participate in the first round of a Grand Slam tournament (if he does not receive a special ticket). But Nadal used the “Rank Protection” rule to win a spot for himself.

ATP rules clearly state that a ranking protection regulation is “a ranking assigned to a player who is unable to compete in any tennis event due to injury for a minimum of 6 months.”

Nadal has been injured since January 2023. He got hurt while in the top 10, so if he uses the regulations, Nadal will get a “special exemption”. The necessary and sufficient condition is that this player must make a request to use the regulations as well as have a specific time frame.

Nadal will not be seeded at the 2024 Australian Open

However, Nadal will not be seeded at the 2024 Australian Open. That means, the player who has conquered Grand Slam tournaments 22 times can encounter extremely difficult opponents right from round 1, such as Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev or Jannik Sinner… That depends on the lucky draw of the branch draw.

Right now, tennis fans are extremely looking forward to the moment Rafael Nadal returns, scheduled for December 31, 2023 at ATP 250 in Brisbane. The last time fans saw Rafa play was January 18 of this year, a long time ago.

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