Rafael Nadal confirmed on Wednesday that he can’t wait to get stuck into the debut edition of the ATP-WTA United Cup despite the usual doubts on his career longevity.

The world No. 2 Spaniard will kick start another season on Friday when Spain take on Britain, with the 36-year-old set to start against British No. 1 Cam Norrie.

With Roger Federer retired and Novak Djokovic opting for an ATP event next week in Adelaide, Nadal is the only member of the legendary Big 3 to take to the court in the newly minted team competition.

Spain are based in Sydney, with other group stages being staged from  Thursday in Perth and Brisbane,

Nadal began handling questions about his career even before the first ball was hit for 2023.

“As a professional you never know – hopefully this is not my last (time in Australia),” he said..

“When you are 36, you never know when it’s going to be the last one. But I don’t like to talk about that, I’m not in that mood now. 

“I just focus on trying to play at the highest level possible. I want to be competitive, to fight for anything.”

The 22-time Grand Slam winner added: “That’s my goal now. I’m not thinking about it being my last time here. 

“If it is the last time, let’s try to enjoy as much as possible, create something special.”

The Spaniard who is joined on the national team by Paula Badosa and Pablo Carreno Busta. cannot help but be psyched for the start of another season.

 “It’s always exciting, everyone has doubts about how the things going to go. 

“I have the highest motivation to try to start well, that’s always important , for the confidence. 

“The last few months haven’t been easy for me (healing injuries). .The main thing for me now is to recover the positive feelings on court – I’m ready to make that happen, but let’s see.”