'This is probably the most difficult part for Rafael Nadal', says top analyst



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'This is probably the most difficult part for Rafael Nadal', says top analyst

Rafael Nadal has stopped playing after suffering a stress fracture in his rib during the Indian Wells semi-final against Carlos Alcaraz. The former world number 1 had to miss the first events on his beloved clay, in particular the Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo and the ATP 500 in Barcelona.

According to the latest rumors, the Spanish phenomenon intends to make his return to Madrid. His main target is obviously Roland Garros, where he will hunt for his 14th seal. The 35-year-old from Manacor had a fabulous start to the season, in which he won the Australian Open against all odds.

Triumphing for the second time in his career at Melbourne Park, Rafa climbed to 21 Majors by overtaking Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the all-time rankings. The Iberian became the fourth man in history to have won all the Slams at least twice (along with Djokovic, Rod Laver and Roy Emerson).

Speaking to Eurosport, Alex Corretja highlighted that it could be risky for Nadal to return to Madrid already.

Corretja opens up on Rafa Nadal

"I think the major decision for Rafael Nadal will be go to Madrid or not," Corretja said.

"This is probably the most difficult part for Rafa because I believe from what we heard and what we saw that he is practicing. In a regular situation, he might be ready to play Madrid, but is Madrid the perfect place for Rafa to come back? Knowing that it's the altitude and that through the clay-court season, that was the place that he usually felt a little bit more uncomfortable because he's got so much power and he doesn't control the ball as much as he likes," Corretja continued.

"He's got some opponents that hurt him in Madrid that usually don't do [so] in a sea-level place. So is he going to be ready for Madrid? Maybe he is ready, but I'm not so sure that it will be his pick to get back in Madrid."

Rafael Nadal has been recovering from his injury since the Indian Wells, and it was doubtful about how much match practice he would get before the French Open, this year. His uncle and former coach, Toni Nadal recently opened up about his nephew’s clay-court preparations.

The Spaniard’s numbers on clay are incredible and invincible. Not only does he have the longest single-surface match winning streak on clay with 81 wins, he also has an insane 464-43 win-loss record here.