Rafael Nadal will not be able to prepare in the best way for Roland Garros. The Spanish champion, who returned to the track in Melbourne after a problem with his left foot, has had a fantastic start to the season. He won his first three tournaments of 2022 and overtook Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the Slam title race with his 21st win at the Australian Open.
In the last act of the Australian Slam, Nadal pulled off a feat to come back from two sets down against Daniil Medvedev. The Majorcan’s 20-match winning streak came to an end at the Indian Wells Masters 1000. Already sore in the final set against Carlos Alcaraz, Nadal showed his physical problems in the final, allowing Taylor Fritz to lift the first ‘1000’ of his career.
After returning to Spain and consulting doctors, Nadal discovered that he had played his last match in California with a stress fracture in his ribs. For this reason, the 21-time Slam champion has had to withdraw from the Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo and the ATP 500 tournament in Barcelona, and the news that filters from around him is not encouraging.
The Spanish team has reported that Nadal has not yet picked up the racket after his injury. “Rafa is still in pain, he hasn’t picked up the racket and he needs a few weeks to train on the court again. We’re three weeks in, so logically he can’t play in Barcelona”.
Nadal’s goal is to get back on court in Madrid and play the Internazionali BNL d’Italia before starting his chase for a 22nd Slam title.
Nadal will miss the Barcelona Open
World No. 7 Casper Ruud recently delved deeper into the reasons behind Rafael Nadal’s mind-boggling dominance on clay.
“He plays every point very, very strictly and with order, like it’s his last point. I have heard him say that many times before and that’s the reason he never gives you room to breathe,” Casper Ruud said.
“You don’t get too many free points from him in a match or when you play points [in practice]. With the clay, sometimes it’s more physically demanding because you play longer rallies and longer matches, and he’s there ready for it.
He sets up the point very well and many times the same way. He likes to dominate points with his forehand and I think the majority of his clay-court career, he has been very successful playing his forehand heavy crosscourt to his opponent’s backhand, usually when he plays right-handed players,” Ruud explained.
“Most players struggle with his shots and it’s very normal because they’re very heavy. I think this is what makes him so successful.”