Rafael Nadal reveals good news ahead of his favorite tournament

Rafael Nadal will travel to Barcelona on Wednesday and practice

by Jovica Ilic
Rafael Nadal reveals good news ahead of his favorite tournament
© Alex Caparros / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Rafael Nadal will travel to Barcelona on Wednesday! The home star plans to train with high-quality opponents and test his body ahead of possible draw entry for next week's event! The Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, known as Trofeo Conde de Godo, has been held at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona-1899 since 1953.

The world's finest clay-courters have played at the fifth most prestigious event on the slowest surface, with Nadal standing above all the others. After missing Barcelona the previous two years due to injuries, a 12-time champion will try to participate at one of his favorite tournaments if his troubled abdominal muscle gives him the green light.

If he enters the draw, Nadal will play his first match on the court named after him on Tuesday in front of a packed crowd.

Rafael Nadal, Barcelona 2021© Alex Caparros / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

For the first time in over two decades, Rafa would have to start the event from the first round, requiring six wins if he wants to chase the title.

However, everything is still on paper, with the veteran taking slow steps after experiencing many setbacks in the previous two years. Nadal withdrew from this week's Monte Carlo Masters and will try to compete in front of the home crowd for the 17th time.

Rafa is 66-4 in Barcelona since debuting in 2003 at 16, dominating a prestigious ATP 500 event and adding 12 trophies to his collection. Nadal fell to Alex Corretja in the second round during his first Barcelona Open campaign, returning two years later as one of the world's best players.

Rafa took down Juan Carlos Ferrero in straight sets in the 2005 title clash, starting his incredible reign. The young gun lifted five consecutive trophies between 2005 and 2009 before skipping Barcelona in 2010. No one could stop Nadal in the upcoming three years, conquering three events without losing a set and standing on eight Barcelona Open trophies at 26!

Rafa suffered second and third Barcelona losses to Nicolas Almagro and Fabio Fognini in 2014 and 2014. The home favorite made a notable return, winning 15 matches in straight sets between 2016 and 2018 and standing on 11 titles from 14 trips to Barcelona!

Nadal's fourth and most recent Barcelona loss came in the 2019 quarter-final against Dominic Thiem, falling in straight sets after over two hours. Rafa bounced back in 2021 and clinched his 12th title at the favorite event.

Rafael Nadal, Barcelona 2021© Alex Caparros / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Rafael Nadal will try to compete in Barcelona next week if his body allows him.

The Spaniard had to dig deep in the title clash, ousting Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-7, 7-5 in three hours and 37 minutes after fending off a match point.

Thus, Nadal remained perfect in the Barcelona Open title match, conquering all 12! Tsitsipas pushed the king of clay to the limits, earning a match point at 5-4 in the third set and squandered it. Rafa prevailed with a late break, earning a win in the most extended best-of-three ATP final since the formation of the ATP Tour in 1990!

The home favorite denied 11 out of 13 break points, staying composed in the pivotal moments and moving over the top with four breaks on his tally. Plagued with injuries, Nadal has played only 16 matches after Wimbledon 2022, losing ground completely and contemplating retirement.

Rafael Nadal, The Netflix Slam 2024© Chris Unger / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Rafa could have become world no. 1 two years ago after conquering the Australian Open and Roland Garros. However, he hurt his abdominal muscle at Wimbledon, withdrawing ahead of the semi-final and struggling for the rest of the season.

The Spaniard wished for a better run in 2023, but things only got much worse for him! Rafa came to Melbourne as the defending champion, giving his best despite playing without any form. Nadal met Mackenzie McDonald in the second round and hurt his left hip in the closing stages of the second set, playing until the end but ruining his entire season!

A veteran missed the following tournaments and wrapped up the season after undergoing surgery in June. Rafa spent a delightful summer with his family and friends before returning to the practice court and gym. Showing signs of progress, the Spaniard arranged his comeback for the first week of 2024, entering an ATP 250 event in Brisbane.

Nadal played his first match in 349 days against his old rival Dominic Thiem, breaking the rival's resistance in the closing stages of the opening set and dominating the second. Rafa played well against Jason Kubler, reaching the quarter-final and offering his fans something to cheer about.

However, the fairy tale comeback ended after a massive quarter-final loss to Jordan Thompson in almost three and a half hours.

Rafael Nadal, Brisbane 2024© Chris Hyde / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Nadal squandered three match points in a 5-7, 7-6, 6-3 defeat, feeling the pain around his troubled hip again in the decider and asking for a medical timeout.

Rafa took an MRI and decided to withdraw from the Australian Open, not risking more serious issues. The Spaniard returned home and recovered, practicing ahead of Doha when the new setback appeared. Rafa felt the pain in his abdominal muscle, skipping Doha and training ahead of Indian Wells.

Nadal could not serve as he would like in the USA, skipping another tournament and hoping for a better run on his beloved clay. Rafa did not travel to Monte Carlo, missing his favorite Masters 1000 event after not feeling at 100%.

The Spaniard will try to compete in Barcelona next week if his body allows him to do so. He is eager to return to competition and extend his career before ending it on his terms, but it depends on his body.

Rafael Nadal