Rafael Nadal cheers up fans day after sharing very sad news that sparked big concerns

Nadal won't be ready to play in Monte Carlo next week but not everything is that grey.

by Dzevad Mesic
Rafael Nadal cheers up fans day after sharing very sad news that sparked big concerns
© Getty Images Sport - Chris Hyde

Rafael Nadal announced some pretty crushing news on Thursday but on Friday cheered up his fans after revealing that he continues to practice on clay despite his Monte Carlo Masters withdrawal. 

On Thursday evening, the tennis world and especially Nadal fans were left extremely disappointed after the 22-time Grand Slam champion announced he would not be able to compete in Monte Carlo next week because his body wasn't allowing him to do so. 

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal© Rafael Nadal - Instagram

After Nadal picked up an injury in his first tournament back from his hip surgery and missed the Sunshine Double, the hope was that at least he would not experience any setbacks at the start of the clay season. But unfortunately, exactly that happened as the 37-year-old Spaniard isn't ready to compete in Monte Carlo - a tournament where he is a record 11-time champion. 

The thing that makes record 11-time Monte Carlo champion Nadal's withdrawal especially tough is the fact that the 36-year-old is likely playing his last season on the Tour. Also, Nadal's statement on Thursday - in which the Spaniard sounded shattered and absolutely devastated - made his withdrawal even tougher to deal with for his fans. Also, some instantly started thinking about the French Open and if all of this would lead to Nadal missing Roland Garros for the second consecutive year.

But it seems that not everything is grey when it comes to Nadal's situation as the former world No. 1 seemingly had a great practice session on Friday.

If everything goes right, we could see Nadal back in action as soon as in 10 days as he is on the Barcelona Open entry list, which starts on April 15th.

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal© Rafael Nadal - Instagram

Nadal worried his fans with his Monte Carlo Masters withdrawal announcement 

Earlier this week, there had been some strong rumors indicating that Nadal likely wouldn't be ready for Monte Carlo. On Thursday, that news became reality after the 22-time Grand Slam champion himself announced he was pulling out of the opening clay Masters of the year.

Nadal withdrawing from Monte Carlo only sparked further concerns about the Spaniard's health, and after he admitted to going through "very difficult moments," his fans but also the entire tennis community grew even more concerned about the 37-year-old.

"Hi all, these are very difficult moments for me, sporting-wise. Unfortunately I have to tell you that I am not going to be playing in Monte Carlo. My body simply won’t allow me," Nadal announced on Thursday evening through his Instagram account.

"And even if I am working hard & making the maximum effort every day with all the will to play and compete again at tournaments that have been very important for me, the truth is that I can’t play today. You have no idea how hard this is for me to not be able to play these events.

"The only thing I can do is to accept the situation and try to look at the immediate future keeping the excitement and will to play in order to give me a chance for things to get better.

"Thanks again to all, as always, for all the support and best wishes!"

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal © Getty Images Entertainment- David Becker

How all of this is impacting Nadal's retirement plans?

After revealing his plans to walk away from pro tennis in 2024, Nadal confirmed at the start of this season that was still in place and noted that he would "probably" retire this year. However, Nadal didn't fully close the door on returning for the 2025 season but said at the time that certain pieces would have to fall into place - being and staying healthy, feeling well and competitive on the court. 

In early March, Nadal took on Carlos Alcaraz in the Netflix Slam exhibition in Las Vegas and the two delivered a show before the 20-year-old Spaniard clinched a 3-6 6-4 14-12 win. While in Las Vegas, Nadal underlined that he needed matches and to play much more. 

“I need at least to spend more time on the tour, at least to practice with the professional players and even if not playing many official matches, play practice matches,” Nadal said in Las Vegas.

In Sin City, Nadal said his goal was to go all in during the clay season and also made a painful admission, saying that it wasn't about whether he wanted or not to play beyond 2024, but more about his body not allowing him to play anymore. 

"Whatever has to be left, leave it in the clay season, which may or may not be the last, I have not decided 100 percent. At the moment things are going that way," Nadal said.

"I'm not saying goodbye because then I'd say I'm not playing anymore. This is an important point and I don't want to say it because I'm not 100 percent clear about it. In the last two years, I haven't been able to play. Life is showing you the path."

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal © Getty Images Sport - Chris Hyde

After those comments, Nadal withdrew from the Indian Wells Masters and also skipped the Miami Masters. 

Nadal again dealing with major injury issues and missing significant time certainly won't help the Spaniard to change his mind and play again next year.

Rafael Nadal Monte Carlo