Rafael Nadal refuses to be pinned down on a return date after last competing in January at the Australian Open.

The 22-time Grand Slam winner told Spain’s EFE that he is not ready to lock down the day of his potential return to the courts.

The statement further blows up  the hype spread by Australian open TD Craig Tiley that the 37-year-old was a sure thing for January’s open in Melbourne,

Not so, says Nadal.

“If I set dates for myself and I don’t keep them, I’m adding disappointments that I don’t need,

“I’ve already had enough disappointments on a sporting and physical level in recent times.”

The left-hander spelled out his current programme: “I’m making it day by day and I am sincerely improving.”

He also said he’s not been missing his sport that much either.

“I haven’t missed the competition much. “When you see that you can’t (play), because physically you can’t, then you can’t miss competing.

“You have to be living day to day. I’ve tried to be happy with what I have had. I’ve achieved that in my daily life.”

Main photo: Rafa Nadal was injured in Australian Open 2023 by Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd