Rafael Nadal fitness update: ‘I will not be able to play in one of the most important tournaments of my career’

Shahida Jacobs
Rafael Nadal unhappy
Rafael Nadal concerned

Rafael Nadal’s return to action has once again been pushed back as the 22-time Grand Slam has confirmed that he will not take part in the Monte Carlo Masters.

The tennis great’s last competitive match was a second-round defeat at the Australian Open in January and he later confirmed that he suffered a serious hip injury during the match.

He initially expected to be out of action for six to eight weeks with the Indian Wells Open and/or Miami Open earmarked as a return event/s, but he withdrew from the Sunshine Double as his comeback was delayed.

The Monte Carlo Masters – a tournament that Nadal has won 11 times – was the next event on his calendar with organisers revealing a fortnight ago that they had high hopes he would play in the Principality although the Spaniard himself shot down suggestions that his participation was a sure thing.

And it has turned out that he is still not ready to play at the top level as he confirmed on social media that he won’t take part in the ATP Masters 1000 event in Monte Carlo.

“Hi everyone, I’m still not ready to compete at the highest level,” the 36-year-old wrote. “I will not be able to play in one of the most important tournaments of my career, Monte Carlo.

“I am not yet in a position to play with the maximum guarantees and I continue my preparation process, hoping to return soon.”

The Barcelona Open is next on Nadal’s schedule with the ATP 500 tournament starting immediately after the Monte Carlo Masters on April, but it remains to be seen if the 12-time champion will feature in the Spanish city.

Should he also skip the Barcelona Open, then the Madrid Open (April 24-May 7) and Italian Open (May 8-15) are the only other warm-up events left before Roland Garros.

Nadal’s build-up to the 2022 French Open was also disrupted by injury as he suffered a rib injury at Indian Wells last year and the Miami Open and the start of the clay season before returning to action at the Madrid Open.

He exited the Madrid event in the quarter-final and then suffered a third-round exit from the Italian Open, but the match practice was good enough to help him to win a record-extending 14th title at Roland Garros and a 22nd Grand Slam trophy.

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