After recovering from a serious injury last season and a great start in 2022 with three home titles, as well as the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal was hoping he would definitely not have to deal with other major physical problems.
At the end of the final lost in Indian Wells, the Spaniard remedied a stress fracture of the third left rib, which forced him to stop for a few weeks, having to miss the first events on clay such as the Master 1000 in Monte Carlo and the ATP 500 of Barcelona.
The Iberian has announced that he wants to return to the field in Madrid and, in the past few hours, that he does not have high expectations for the competition in the capital, given that he is convalescing. The goal in the short term is certainly represented by Roland Garros and the athlete is aware of having to work hard and have patience to be able to return to the best conditions before the Parisian tournament.
The winner of 21 Grand Slam titles was one of the great protagonists on Saturday at the "Santiago Bernabeu" stadium, witnessing the match between the absolute champions of La Liga Real Madrid and Espanyol. During the intermission the Manacor native was interviewed by Movistar +: "These have been difficult weeks, the rib has been very crippling and I have not been able to do practically anything.
It has been a very bad two weeks, the reality is that I came to this tournament in a very complicated situation. I am aware that this event will be very difficult for me. What I have in mind is Roland Garros," he revealed.
Nadal will hope for deep runs in Madrid
Rafael Nadal sustained a rib stress fracture in his three-set semi-final win against compatriot Carlos Alcaraz in the Indian Wells semis. That seemingly hindered him in the final, where Taylor Fritz snapped the Spaniard's perfect 20-0 start to the year.
"I arrived very tight, I've trained very little. The rib has been very disabling, and I haven't been able to do practically anything," Nadal said. "I have Roland-Garros in mind, and I'm aware that this tournament in Madrid is difficult."
Rafael Nadal endured his first defeat in a Roland Garros semifinal last year when he went down in four sets to arch-rival and eventual champion Novak Djokovic. "The important thing is to arrive in Paris well and healthy. I think that three weeks of preparation are enough to arrive well and healthy," he said.