Rafael Nadal rebuffs Monte-Carlo Masters reports – ‘Unfortunately I cannot confirm it’

Shahida Jacobs
Rafael Nadal rpess conference

It remains to be seen if Rafael Nadal will make his return to competitive tennis at the Monte-Carlo Masters as the 22-time Grand Slam winner insists he doesn’t know when he will be back on the ATP Tour.

Nadal has been on the sidelines since he picked up a hip injury during his second-round defeat at the Australian Open in mid-January. Scans revealed a grade two tear of his iliopsoas muscle and his team initially said he would be out of action for up to eight weeks.

The Spaniard had initially hoped to return to action for the Indian Wells Open and Miami Open, but he withdrew from both events as he instead shifted focus to his favourite clay-court season.

It was initially expected that he would make his comeback at the Monte-Carlo Masters, which gets underway on April 10, with tournament organisers revealing that he was the first player to sign up for the ATP Masters 1000 event.

Tournament director David Massey added: “He really wants to play in the Monte-Carlo Masters and is giving himself every opportunity to participate in the tournament that he likes so much.”

And while Nadal remains committed to returnign to full fitness to take part in the event, it is far from a sure thing that he will feature at the Principality next month.

In an interview with Marca he said: “I do not know who revealed this information. but obviously if it was true I would confirm it to you but unfortunately I can not confirm it.

“I follow my programme and I do not know when I will play again, that’s the truth. I am in a phase of increasing work. If I knew when I was going to come back I would say so, but I don’t know.

“I cannot confirm that I will play in Monte Carlo, things are being seen day by day. I prefer to say things when I really know them.”

If he doesn’t make his comeback in Monte Carlo, then he could return at the Barcelona Open – which gets underway on April 17 – while the Madrid Open (April 24) is also another option.

Earlier this month the 36-year-old revealed that the injury was a lot more serious than initially feared.

“It was a very big tear in the muscle, I tore a little bit of the tendon. It is a very complicated place in the psoas, in all sports, but in tennis we get strength from there, so it is a slower recovery than we would like,” he said.

“We have no choice but to be a little patient; it is true that the calendar is passing and that I am no longer 20 years old, and after a year like the one I’ve been having, one gets tired, but I do what I can.”

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