Nadal injury comeback starts to take shape with new tournament added
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Rafael Nadal’s comeback plan is starting to take shape after the world No 9 put his name down for the entry list for the Monte Carlo Masters. The Spaniard has now signed up for a second clay tournament, the Barcelona Open. And he is said to be on track to make his return in Monte Carlo as planned.
Nadal hasn’t played a match since his Australian Open second-round defeat to Mackenzie McDonald, where he injured his leg. The 36-year-old was forced to skip tournaments in Dubai, Indian Wells and Miami as a result but has recently returned to the practice court.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion has been sharing footage of him hitting on the clay at his Rafa Nadal Academy, hinting that he will return at the start of the clay swing at the Monte Carlo Masters. The tournament director recently confirmed that Nadal was the “first” to put his name down for the event.
And it appears that Nadal is starting to build up his schedule again after two months away from competition, as he has now also appeared on the entry list for the Barcelona Open where he is a 12-time title winner. It comes as Spanish journalist Hugo Duran confirmed that the Spaniard had a Monte Carlo comeback in his sights.
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Sharing some extra footage of Nadal practising at his academy, Duran also reported that the 36-year-old was now meeting the “deadlines” in his recovery process – something the Spaniard previously admitted hadn’t been successful. Earlier this month, Nadal attended Real Madrid’s Copa del Rey semi-final first leg defeat to Barcelona and confessed that he didn’t know when he would return.
The man dubbed the ‘King of Clay’ sounded bleak as he explained how long the recovery process was, but he now appears to be working to his expected comeback timeline. “I am doing weekly check-ups,” Nadal said at the time.
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“We will have to see how I evolve, but I’m not here today, we’ll see. I am recovering. I do as much work as I can every day to recover as well as possible. I go day by day. I don’t know when I’ll be back, when I’m fine. And then we will have to have a little patience.”
As well as Nadal, several other top players have been announced for the ATP 500 event in Barcelona including Daniil Medvedev, who has not played the event since 2019. Defending champion Carlos Alcaraz will also return alongside the likes of Casper Ruud, Stefanos Tsitsipas and his countrymen Pablo Carreno Busta, Roberto Bautista Agut, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Albert Ramos Vinolas.
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