Rafael Nadal withdraws from Barcelona, targets Madrid for comeback

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Rafael Nadal withdraws from Barcelona, targets Madrid for comeback

World No. 4 Rafael Nadal won't be kicking off his clay season next week as he has withdrawn from the Barcelona Open, according to his press team. Nadal, a former world No. 1, had been scheduled to make his 17th Barcelona appearance this year.

Throughout his career, Nadal has had lots of success in Barcelona as he is a 12-time champion at the tournament. Nadal won five consecutive Barcelona titles between 2005 and 2009. Nadal skipped the 2010 Barcelona edition but returned to the event in 2011 and won three consecutive titles between 2011 and 2013.

Nadal also won three consecutive Barcelona titles between 2016 and 2018, before winning his 12th Barcelona title last year.

Nadal dealing with a stress fracture in one of his ribs

Nadal sustained a stress fracture in one of his ribs during the Indian Wells Masters.

Three weeks have passed since Nadal announced his diagnosis. When announcing his diagnosis, Nadal revealed he would likely be out for four to six weeks. "Hi everyone, I wanted to let you know that I'm back in Spain and I went straight to see my medical team for tests after the Indian Wells final, which I played in discomfort,” Nadal tweeted in Spanish the day after the final.

"I have a stress fracture in one of my ribs and I will be out for 4 to 6 weeks. It's not good news and I didn't expect this. I am devastated and sad because after such a good start to the season I have had. “Now is a very important time of the year for me and I had a very good feeling and good results.

Well, I have always had that spirit of fighting and overcoming and what I will do is be patient and work hard after my recovery. Once again I would like to thank everyone for their support”. Nadal is now targeting to make his comeback at the Madrid Masters, which kicks off on May 01.