Rafael Nadal shares good news with his fans, reveals his next tournament

Rafael Nadal skipped Indian Wells, but we will see him in action at his beloved tournament

by Jovica Ilic
Rafael Nadal shares good news with his fans, reveals his next tournament
© David Becker / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Rafael Nadal will compete at his beloved Monte Carlo Masters in April, challenging Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner. An 11-time Monte Carlo champion will play his first tournament since Brisbane at the beginning of the season.

He experienced a couple of setbacks but is hoping for a good run on his favorite surface. Rafa withdrew from Indian Wells, feeling slight discomfort in his back and not risking anything after an extended break. The MRI showed no major issues, and the Spaniard should be ready for his first clay-court event since Roland Garros 2022!

Nadal stayed in Indian Wells for a couple of days following his withdrawal, practicing on har-tru clay and heading home to Mallorca for more training sessions.

Rafael Nadal, The Netflix Slam 2024© David Becker / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Rafa debuted in Monte Carlo in 2003 at 16, reaching the third round and making a name for himself.

The Spaniard took charge in 2005, claiming eight consecutive titles by 2012! Rafa did not play at his best in the Principality between 2013 and 2015, losing two times to Novak Djokovic before regaining the throne in 2016, claiming three consecutive trophies and standing on 11!

Rafa has played in Monte Carlo only two times since 2019, suffering losses to Fabio Fognini and Andrey Rublev. Ranked outside the top-600, Nadal could meet any rival from the top already in the second round, and it will be interesting to see the draw and his potential rivals.

Plagued with a hip injury, Rafa has played only seven matches since the start of 2023, experiencing the worst period of his incredible career. Everything looked great for the Spaniard in the first half of 2022, conquering the Australian Open and Roland Garros and standing alone on 22 Major titles.

Nadal's problems started at Wimbledon despite reaching the semi-final, suffering an abdominal injury and withdrawing.

Rafael Nadal, Las Vegas 2024© David Becker / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Rafael Nadal will compete in Monte Carlo after withdrawing from Indian Wells.

Rafa did not play well by the end of the season, entering only a couple of tournaments and missing an opportunity to become world no.

1 at 36. The veteran wished for a better run in 2023, but things only worsened for him! Entering the season with no confidence, Nadal lost two United Cup matches after winning the opening set, heading to Melbourne with slim chances of the title defense.

Rafa ousted Jack Draper in four sets in the first round before facing Mackenzie McDonald. Things did not work for the Spaniard right from the start, and he experienced a severe hip injury in the closing stages of the second set.

Rafa fought until the end, unwilling to retire as the defending champion.

Carlos Alcaraz & Rafael Nadal, The Netflix Slam 2024© Candice Ward / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

The American grabbed a decisive break in the closing stages of the third set, sending the Spaniard packing and delivering Rafa's earliest Major loss since 2016.

Nadal revealed a flexor injury and underwent arthroscopic hip surgery in June, missing the rest of the season. Rafa spent an entertaining summer with his family and friends before returning to the practice court. The Spaniard felt progress on the practice court and gym, returning to action in the first week of 2024 in Brisbane.

Playing his first match in 349 days, Nadal beat Dominic Thiem 7-5, 6-1, making a winning start and gaining a boost. Jason Kubler stood no chance against the veteran, with Rafa sealing the deal in straight sets and moving into the quarter-final.

Jordan Thompson made Rafa run for his money, and the veteran's body could not endure a massive effort. Nadal experienced a blow, wasting three match points in a 5-7, 7-6, 6-3 loss in three hours and 25 minutes! Rafa claimed a tight opener and earned three match points in the second.

Jordan denied them, stole the set and became the favorite in the decider. Nadal felt the pain around his troubled hip, requiring a medical timeout and losing serve once to propel his rival over the top. Rafa underwent an MRI in Melbourne, which showed a micro tear in his muscle, forcing him to withdraw from the Australian Open.

Rafa took a couple of weeks off and hit the practice court in Mallorca.

Rafael Nadal, The Netflix Slam 2024© Candice Ward / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

A 22-time Major winner felt discomfort around his hip in February and withdrew from Doha, not risking more serious issues.

The Spaniard traveled to Indian Wells early, hoping for a good run in the desert and momentum ahead of the clay action. Nadal practiced and traveled to Las Vegas. He competed against Carlos Alcaraz at The Netflix Slam, losing 3-6, 6-4, 14-12 after an entertaining two-hour battle.

Rafa did not serve or move as he would wish, feeling a slight pain in his back and withdrawing from Indian Wells. Nadal will use the upcoming weeks to shape his game on clay and arrive in Monte Carlo in a competitive mood, chasing his first wins since January.

Rafa will throw everything at Roland Garros and the Olympic Games in Paris, competing at his beloved Court Philippe-Chatrier two times this season and hoping to chase more tennis glory in what might be his last season on the Tour.

Rafael Nadal Indian Wells