Andy Roddick issues Rafael Nadal verdict as he predicts when we will learn ‘where his body is at’

Ewan West
Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal of Spain attends a training session ahead of the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, Australia.

Andy Roddick thinks Rafael Nadal’s participation at the 2024 Monte Carlo Masters will be “a big tell as to where his body is at” as he assessed the Spaniard’s current situation. 

The former world No 1 thinks Nadal competing in Monte Carlo would mean he will play a “fuller schedule” and feels he will ideally want to play three tournaments before the French Open.

Nadal is training ahead of the clay-court season and is expected to attempt to return to action at the 2024 Monte Carlo Masters, which will run from April 7-14.

The ‘King of Clay’ has won a record 11 titles at the historic tournament, making it his best Masters 1000 event and his third most successful tournament overall after Roland Garros (13) and the Barcelona Open (12).

The 37-year-old has not played since making his long-awaited comeback in Brisbane in January, where he suffered a hip injury setback in his quarter-final loss to Jordan Thompson. Before Brisbane, Nadal had not played since sustaining a hip psoas muscle injury at the 2023 Australian Open.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion subsequently withdrew from the 2024 Australian Open, and has since pulled out of events in Doha and Indian Wells, where he had hoped to make his latest comeback.

READ MORE: Mats Wilander gives Rafael Nadal retirement verdict as he weighs in on injury struggles

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Roddick, who won the US Open in 2003, highlighted the importance of Nadal getting matches under his belt before the 2024 French Open.

“Rafael Nadal would ideally want to play maybe three events going into the French Open. He’s the type of player that needs matches and needs that physical feedback,” the American told Betway.

“Monte Carlo has always been a successful event for him, and you’d have to think he would want to play Madrid in his home country again. Now they’re 10-day events, that probably ups the chances that you’ll see him in Madrid and Rome, but it’s going to depend on results.

“If he has an early exit in Madrid, I don’t see him waiting out three weeks before Roland Garros. Monte Carlo is going to be a big tell as to where his body is at. If he participates in that, then we’re going to see a fuller schedule.”

Ahead of an appearance at the second Rafael Nadal Foundation Awards ceremony in Palma earlier this week, Nadal revealed when he hopes to return, but expressed caution.

“I will do my best to try to start the clay season, which is my goal, I am working for that and striving for that goal, but I don’t dare to say anything about what might happen because lately it has been difficult for me to make predictions, unfortunately,” said the Mallorcan.

“I’ve not stopped training at any time. I’m trying all the time. I feel fine, I just haven’t managed to follow the schedule I would have liked to. Hopefully things can change, but as you can imagine, I can’t say because I don’t know myself.

READ MORE: Rafael Nadal provides honest injury update as he outlines his comeback goal