World No. 4 Rafael Nadal has confirmed he plans to kick off his clay season next week at the Madrid Masters. Nadal, 35, sustained a stress fracture in one of his ribs at the Indian Wells Masters. The initial prognosis was that Nadal would be out for four to six weeks and those prognosis turned out to be correct.
Nadal, a record 21-time Grand Slam champion, missed the beginning of the clay season as he pulled out of Monte Carlo and Barcelona. Last Monday, Nadal returned to the practice courts after being sidelined for four weeks.
"Despite only just arriving with preparation and it being difficult, I really want to play and play at home since the opportunities are few," Nadal tweeted. "I will try to do it in the best possible way. See you in Madrid”.
A pesar de llegar justo de preparación y ser difícil, tengo muchas ganas de jugar y jugar en casa ya que las oportunidades son pocas.
A tratar de hacerlo de la mejor manera posible ðªð»
Nos vemos en Madrid ð pic.twitter.com/tiD5m6lWle — Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) April 26, 2022
Toni Nadal indicated his nephew would play in Madrid
"I think so.
Rafa told me that he expected to play in Madrid. There are 15 days left to see if everything is progressing correctly and if he can be in really good shape. Otherwise it could be complicated for RolandâGarros which is its main objective," Toni Nadal told RTVE.
Nadal usually plays four events leading up to the French Open. This year, Nadal can play a maximum of three events before the French Open. After Madrid, Nadal will head to italy for the Rome Masters. Nadal never plays the week before the French Open and he is certainly hoping there won't be need to play one this year.
Overall, it has been a great 2022 season for Nadal. After skipping almost the entire second half of the 2021 season, Nadal returned by winning a record 21st Grand Slam at the Australian Open. Nadal, a record 13-time French Open champion, is hoping to win his 22nd Grand Slam title at Roland Garros this year.
Nadal failed to win the French Open last year and he will certainly be extremely motivated to make it all the way at Roland Garros this year.