TD Craig Tliey may finally hit the mark with a prediction after controversially insisting that Rafael Nadal will be back from a year of injury in time for next January’s Australian Open.

The Tennis boss whose Wednesday statement of fact was immediately knocked back by the Nadal camp, has made another stab at predicting the future.

Tiley told Australia’s Nine Network that he’s sure that Nick Kyrgios – another long-term injury victim – will make a return to the courts in Melbourne in three months after playing just one match this season.

The 28-year-old Aussie is more than likely to be unranked on the ATP with his final points from a year ago falling off the computer next week due to inactivity from wrist and other injuries.

“We know Nick’s [Kyrgios] been in training so we expect to see him back,” Tiley said.

“The one thing great about Nick – he’s very transparent and very open about what he’s feeling and what he thinks … I personally believe in the communication that he’s motivated to come back and play in January.

“He loves playing, he loves playing here in front of his crowd, and he knows everyone wants him to play … it’s just a matter of his health. 

“He’s had a significant injury and in many cases for many athletes it can be a career-ending injury.

“He’s in the process of still getting over that, and I fully expect him to be here and be ready to play and provide us with the entertainment we want.”

Kyrgios made a breakthrough and rehabbed away at least some of his bad boy image with his 2022 Wimbledon final against Novak Djokovic. But he failed to follow up and played his only match of 2023 in Stuttgart last June, losing to a Chinese player on grass.

Kyrgios has slumped to No 470 in the ATP Rankings, but he will be able to use his protected ranking to get into the main draw of the Australian Open and other events.
However, there had also been concerns that Kyrgios could walk away from tennis as he has never made a secret of the fact that he is not keen on playing well beyond the age of 30.

In June he admitted that “all the drinking and partying” is likely to force him into early retirement.

“The schedule is out of control. I’m getting old. I’m getting old,” he joked. “(I am) 28… but with all the drinking and partying, I’m like 57.”