Barcelona Open tournament director David Ferrer has expressed his hope that Rafael Nadail will be ready for the tournament but added the tournament will feature an attractive player lineup even if Nadal is forced to skip the event.
Nadal, a record 21-time Grand Slam champion, suffered a stress fracture in one of his ribs during the Indian Wells Masters. Last Monday, Nadal announced he would be out for four to six weeks. The Barcelona Open starts on April 18 and there is still a slight chance Nadal recovers in time for the event.
”There will surely be three ‘top 10’ (Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud, and Hubert Hurkacz) and 11 of the top 20,” Ferrer said, per Marca. “A final between Tsitsipas and Carlos Alcaraz would be attractive.”
Ferrer: Nadal is irreplaceable
If Nadal misses the event, Carlos Alcaraz would be the one that would highlight this year’s Barcelona player field. “Nadal is an irreplaceable player, but we have the novelty of Alcaraz, who creates a lot of expectations after how he has broken into the circuit this year.
Having Rafa is something unique and the only thing I hope is that he recovers as soon as possible,” Ferrer said. Nadal is 20-1 to start the season as he made it all the way at the Melbourne Summer Set, Australian Open and Acapulco.
Nadal’s first loss of the season came in the Indian Wells final, when he suffered a shock defeat to Taylor Fritz. “It is not easy when they tell you that you have an injury and more so at the beginning of the clay.
He had been playing very well and with confidence. But if there is something Rafa has, it is that he has always come out of this type of situation with more strength. Injuries are part of the sport,” Ferrer added. On Tuesday, tennis commentator Mark Petchey said he was hearing Nadal might be ready to return for Barcelona.