Nadal Hopes To Return From Injury For Barcelona Open

Rafael Nadal hopes to be able to make his return from injury at next week’s Barcelona Open, the 22-time Grand Slam champion said on Wednesday.

“First training… with the hope of being here these days before the start of the tournament. I’m here to see how it goes… with the desire to try to play,” wrote Nadal on social media, alongside a picture of the Spaniard sitting courtside with his rackets.

But he did go on to add: “Important to say that I don’t want to confirm that I will play, hopefully I will.”

Last Thursday, Nadal, 37, was forced to withdraw from the Monte Carlo Masters after failing to recuperate from an injury in time to play the clay court season opener.

The record 14-time French Open winner missed almost the whole 2023 season due to injury and has only played in the Brisbane International this season, where he suffered a hip injury flare-up during his quarter-final defeat to Jordan Thompson.

That led his withdrawal from the Australian Open, as well as Doha and Indian Wells, where he had originally planned to make his comeback.

His last outing since Brisbane was in an exhibition battle against Carlos Alcaraz in Las Vegas in March, during which observers noticed significant stiffness in his back.

With this potentially being Nadal’s final year on tour, he will be anxious to avoid missing any more clay court preparation time as he attempts to capture a record 15th French Open championship in June.

Earlier on Wednesday, the official Barcelona Open account posted a video on social media depicting 12-time tournament winner Nadal hitting a shot on the event’s center court, which bears his name.

On Tuesday, fellow Spaniard Alcaraz withdrew from Monte Carlo due to injury, putting the two-time defending Barcelona Open champion’s presence doubtful next week.

The Barcelona Open runs from April 15 to 21.

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