Rafael Nadal reveals his comeback tournament!
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 29516
Rafael Nadal has confirmed his comeback! A 22-time Major champion will compete at the season's third Masters 1000 event in Monte Carlo, entering his first event since the Australian Open. Nadal injured his left hip in Melbourne, revealing a Grade 2 iliopsoas and skipping Doha, Dubai, Indian Wells and Miami.
After a couple of weeks of basic hitting without moving much, Rafa has increased his pace during his training sessions, working hard on his game and hoping for a fresh start in the Principality. Nadal is 73-6 in Monte Carlo, debuting in 2003 at 16 and becoming the dominant figure two years later.
Rafa won 11 titles between 2005 and 2018, writing history as the most dominant player at a single Masters 1000 event. Nadal trains at home in Mallorca, working on his game and hoping to play competitive tennis in the next two months and get ready for Roland Garros, his ultimate goal.
Rafa was in a great position to finish the previous season at the top after conquering the Australian Open and Roland Garros. The veteran led the ATP Race despite injuries and setbacks and set his eyes on the third consecutive Major crown at Wimbledon.
The Spaniard ousted Taylor Fritz following an incredible five-setter in the quarter-final, prevailing in over four hours despite apparent issues. Rafa revealed a seven-millimeter abdominal tear and withdrew ahead of the semi-final duel with Nick Kyrgios.
It remains Nadal's last notable tournament eight months later.
Rafael Nadal will compete again in Monte Carlo in April.
The Spaniard scored three wins at the US Open before losing to Frances Tiafoe in the fourth round, feeling the pain and staying away from the court for two months.
Nadal could not find the rhythm in November after a long break, losing four consecutive matches for the first time since 2009! The year-end no. 1 battle became the mission impossible, and Rafa embraced an off-season, hoping for a fresh start in 2023, similar to the one he had a year ago.
Instead, he has played only four matches this season, losing three and sealing his fate in the top-10 after 18 years! Not feeling at his best, Rafa gave everything while seeking the Australian Open title defense. He overpowered the young Briton Jack Draper in the first round and faced Mackenzie McDonald in the second.
The American proved too strong and scored a 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 triumph for a place in the third round. Rafa injured his left hip in the second set's closing stages, refusing to retire and giving his 120% in the third. However, he suffered a late break to propel the rival over the top and drop almost 2000 ATP points.
After further checks, Nadal revealed a Grade 2 iliopsoas injury that forced him to miss four hard-court events in February and March. Rafa is back on the practice court, increasing the pace and wishing to return at his best in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid, Rome and Paris.