Rafael Nadal vacations with wife Maria Francisca Perello in Vienna as return to action beckons
Rafael Nadal recently spent time in Vienna, Austria, with his wife Maria Francisca Perello as his comeback plans for the 2024 season gain steam.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion appeared in only two competitions in the 2023 season, at the United Cup and the Australian Open. He lost both his encounters at the former and reached the second round at the latter, where he fell to Mackenzie McDonald in an injury-hit straight-sets loss.
That injury took Nadal out for the rest of the season, and he is now set to return to action at next year's Brisbane International. But before that he took some time out to go on a vacation with his family, as revealed to fans by Nadal himself on social media.
On Thursday (December 7), the southpaw took to Instagram to share a story alongside his wife from Vienna, posing from the iconic Josefplatz courtyard in Austria's capital city.
"About last night in... Vienna," Nadal wrote, along with a kissing emoji.
In a recent video, the former World No. 1 laid out his plans for his comeback. He said he was looking forward to being competitive once again and that he did not want to put any other kind of pressure on himself in Brisbane.
"I have finally had good training weeks at a level that allows me the possibility to compete again. I have gone through many phases, but I today I think it's time: I'm coming back in a tournament, a 250 tournament. I know it's a difficult tournament but I hope to be ready to compete. I don't aspire to anything else -- to be competitive," Rafael Nadal said.
The 37-year-old has been handed a wildcard for the ATP 250 event, following which he will make use of his Protected Ranking to enter the Australian Open main draw.
Rafael Nadal: "I think I am ready"
Rafael Nadal further revealed in the same video that there were many moments during his comeback journey when he wasn't sure he would recover enough to make a successful return. But now the Spaniard is hopeful that he can be competitive again, mainly thanks to his new outlook where he has relinquished all kinds of expectations from himself.
"There were moments where it seemed impossible that this moment would come but we've maintained this work spirit and hope and I think I am ready. I don't know at what level, I don't know what to expect, I have no idea, but I don't care right now. I'm just happy to be back and with this great excitement to make the effort that is necessary to have fun and I believe that I will be competitive," Nadal said.