(Riyadh) Rafael Nadal “is not the type to come back just to play” but “with the intention of winning a Grand Slam”, said world No.1 Novak Djokovic, asked about the Spaniard whose return is planned during the tournament in Brisbane, which begins on Sunday.

At 37, Rafael Nadal, who had an almost blank 2023 season due to a hip injury, risks living his “last year” on the circuit without being able to “guarantee it 100%”, a- he warned.

“I always expect him (Rafael Nadal) to give his best. Some have often announced it as being near the end, as they did for me. But we proved them wrong,” Djokovic told media, including AFP, before playing an exhibition match against Carlos Alcaraz in Riyadh on Wednesday.

“He’s not the type to come back on tour just to play, let’s say, at an average level, to play a few matches. He wants to win titles, he wants to be the best, that’s why he is what he is: a legend of our sport. I am sure that his training and preparation is done with the intention of winning a Grand Slam,” continued the man with 24 major trophies.

Rafael Nadal, winner of 22 Grand Slam titles and ex-N. 1 in the world, falling to 670th rank, has not played in competition since his elimination in the second round of the Australian Open in January 2023 where, diminished by a hip injury, he was beaten in three rounds by the American Mackenzie McDonald.

“I think he’s ready… I’ve seen videos of him in training, he’s 100%. Other players told me that they had trained with Rafa in recent weeks and that he was going to get back to his good level. His best level. I think he is ready to do big things this year too,” said his compatriot Alcaraz, world No.2, also questioned on the subject in Riyadh.