World No. 4 Rafael Nadal has confirmed that he plans to start his clay-court season next week at the Madrid Masters. Nadal, 35, suffered a stress fracture to one of his ribs during the Indian Wells Masters.
The initial prediction was that Nadal would be out for four to six weeks and those predictions turned out to be correct. Nadal, who holds a record 21 Grand Slam titles, missed the start of the season on clay by withdrawing from Monte Carlo and Barcelona.
Last Monday, Nadal returned to the training camps after four weeks off. “Even though I’m just getting there with the preparation and it’s difficult, I really want to play and play at home because the opportunities are rare,” Nadal tweeted.
“I will try to do it in the best way possible. See you in Madrid”
Toni Nadal has indicated that his nephew will play in Madrid
“I think so. Rafa told me that he had planned to play in Madrid.
There are 15 days left to see if everything goes well and if he can really be in top form. Otherwise, it could be difficult for Roland-Garros, which is his main goal,” Toni Nadal told RTVE.
Nadal usually plays four events prior to Roland-Garros. This year, Nadal can play a maximum of three events before Roland-Garros. After Madrid, Nadal will travel to Italy for the Rome Masters.
Nadal never plays the week before Roland-Garros and he certainly hopes it won’t be necessary to play one this year. All in all, it was a great 2022 season for Nadal.
After skipping most of the second half of the 2021 season, Nadal came back winning a 21st Grand Slam at the Australian Open. Nadal, a 13-time French Open champion, is hoping to win his 22nd Grand Slam title at Roland Garros this year.
Rafael Nadal failed to win Roland Garros last year and will no doubt be extremely motivated to go all the way this year.