The seasons on clay and the truncated preparations follow and look alike for Rafael Nadal. The Spanish tennis player announced on TwitterFriday April 14, that he would not participate in the ATP tournament in Barcelona, which will take place from April 17 to 23, where he was to resume competition.
“I am not ready yet and I am still preparing my return to competition”, justified the 36-year-old player. While he resumed training last month, Rafael Nadal therefore seems to be still recovering from his injury suffered in January at the Australian Open. In Melbourne, during his second round match against American Mackenzie McDonald, he felt severe pain in his left hip. Reduced, he lost in three sets (6-4, 6-4, 7-5).
It is therefore a new blow for the Majorcan, who gives up one of his favorite tournaments on clay: “Barcelona is a special tournament for me, because it’s my adoptive club and because playing at home is always a unique feeling”, he regretted. Surface specialist, the “Taurus of Manacor” has won this ATP 500 tournament twelve times during his career.
A few weeks earlier, he had already given up on competing in the Masters 1000 in Monte-Carlo, which ends on Sunday. “I am not yet in condition to play with the maximum guarantees and I continue my preparation process, hoping to be back soon”he explained on April 4, on Twitter.
A favorable painting Porte d’Auteuil?
Last year, the Majorcan also postponed his return to competition for the clay court season, also missing the Monte-Carlo and Barcelona tournaments. This time it was because of a cracked rib, an injury contracted in the final of the Indian Wells tournament, in California, in March 2022. A delay at the start which had not prevented Rafael Nadal from being crowned for the fourteenth time at Roland-Garros, a few weeks later. Suffering from Müller-Weiss syndrome, a chronic disease that causes him intense pain in his left foot, he won with an anesthetized foot.
The accumulation of physical glitches does not play in his favor. Soon to be 37 years old – he will celebrate them on June 3 – the winner of 22 Grand Slam tournaments paid for his absence from the courts at the start of the season. Leaving the top 10 at the end of March, it is now ranked fifteenth in the world. To benefit from a favorable table at the Porte d’Auteuil, he will therefore have a lot to do. His return to competition is therefore closely scrutinized. It could take place at the Madrid tournament, which runs from April 24 to May 7.