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Rafael Nadal returns to Bastad after nearly two decades

Rafael Nadal has made a long-awaited return to Bastad, Sweden, nearly two decades after his last appearance. The Spanish tennis legend, who has announced that 2024 may be his final season, practiced at the Nordea Open on Thursday. Nadal will compete in the ATP 250 event next week as a wild card entrant.

The former World No. 1 was warmly greeted by fans and took to the court with local #NextGenATP player Ludvig Fredrik Hede. Nadal has fond memories of Bastad, having won the tournament during his last visit in 2005.

At 38, Nadal is making his first competitive appearance since his first-round defeat at Roland Garros to Alexander Zverev on May 27. So far this season, he has a 7-5 record, with his best performance being a fourth-round finish in Madrid.

The field in Bastad features some of the world’s top players. World No. 6 Andrey Rublev, the defending champion, will be the top seed. Other notable competitors include World No. 8 Casper Ruud, Cameron Norrie, and Tallon Griekspoor.

Nadal’s return to Bastad has generated significant excitement among fans and players alike as he continues his journey in what might be his farewell season.

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