Patrick Mouratoglou explains challenges Rafael Nadal faces in French Open preparation



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Patrick Mouratoglou explains challenges Rafael Nadal faces in French Open preparation

Patrick Mouratoglou acknowledged it won't be easy for Rafael Nadal to get a good preparation for the French Open this year as he underlined that the Spaniard will have to play well straight away when he returns to the court.

Nadal, 34, is set to miss the start of the clay season after the tests showed a stress fracture in one of his ribs. "I think for Rafa it is going to be tough. Thankfully for him he has a lot of confidence from the start of the season.

But we know how much he loves to play a lot of matches before Roland Garros to feel fully, fully in control. He needs control. If he doesn't feel the control, it is very difficult for him. So the fact that he cannot play many tournaments before Roland Garros is going to be a big hurdle for him, for sure.

Because he has no other option than to play well straight away. A lot of times at the start of the clay season he doesn't play well at all. Last year, for example, he didn't. And he needed four to five tournaments to start to be the real Rafa.

He won't have those tournaments this year. So he has no other option than to play great from the start. And this is not easy for him," Mouratoglou said in a clip uploaded on his Instagram.

Nadal set to miss the Monte Carlo Masters

Two weeks ago, Nadal announced he suffered a stress fracture in one his ribs.

In his announcement, Nadal revealed he would be out for four to six weeks. Nadal has already pulled out of next week's Masters event in Monte Carlo. Next on Nadal's schedule is the Barcelona Open, which starts on April 18.

Even though Nadal hasn't yet pulled ouf of Barcelona, it would be hard to imagine him returning that early.