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Rafa Nadal and Tiger Woods are likely to go out with a bang next year

This following season will likely feature some of Nadal and Woods’ final professional performances.

Maria Loreto
Senior Writer
NOVEMBER 7, 2023 7:42 PM EST

Everything ends. For athletes like Rafael Nadal and Tiger Woods, retirement can be a bittersweet experience, representing the end of a stage in their careers that took up most of their lives. While Nadal and Woods play different sports, the two find themselves in similar situations, eyeing their awaited comebacks before bowing out professionally.

2023 Australian Open   Day 3© GettyImages
Rafael Nadal playing tennis

Nadal fans have been eagerly awaiting his return to tennis courts, one that’s been on hold since early this year, when he experienced an injury that prompted surgery and an extended absence in hopes of healing fully. Over the past months, Nadal has been training again, with his recovery back on track. Per his own admission, next year will be very important for him, likely seeing his comeback and the conclusion of his career.

“Next year, that’s probably going to be my last year in a professional tour,” Nadal said in a press conference in May of this year. “That’s my idea, even that I can’t say 100 percent that’s going to be like this, because you never know what can happen, but my idea and my motivation is try to enjoy and try to say goodbye of all the tournaments that have been important for me in my tennis career.” He’s eyeing a return early next year, for the Australian Open, in January.

Tiger Woods’ golf comeback

The Masters   Round Three© GettyImages
Tiger Woods playing golf

Tiger Woods has also been away from the spotlight since April, being plagued by multiple injuries and surgeries. “My ankle is fine,” he said to the Associated Press.  “Where they fused my ankle, I have absolutely zero issue whatsoever. That pain is completely gone. It’s the other areas that have been compensated for.”

His return is expected even sooner than Nadal’s, with rumors suggesting that he might be back to the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas this November 30.