Rafael Nadal’s 2023 tennis schedule: Where is he competing next after Sunshine Double withdrawal?

Rafael Nadal plays a shot

A look at Rafael Nadal’s 2023 tennis schedule and his results so far this campaign…

The 22-time Grand Slam winner kicked off his tennis year at the inaugural United Cup in Sydney, but he found it tough going as he lost his two singles matches as Spain failed to get out of the group stage.

Next up was his title defence at the Australian Open and, after stuttering to an opening-round win against Jack Draper, he was humbled by American Mackenzie McDonald in straight sets in the second round.

He also picked up a hip injury and there are plenty of question marks over his fitness.

What’s to follow…

Nadal was due to make his first appearance at the Dubai Tennis Championships in 15 years at the end of February, but the hip injury that he picked up in Melbourne ruled him out of the tournament.

He was expected to be out of action for up to eight weeks and was initially expected to return for the Indian Wells Masters, but he has confirmed that he will miss the ATP Masters 1000 tournament in California as well as the second leg of the Sunshine Double, the Miami Open.

Naturally his biggest aim is to be ready for the clay-court season, which will culminate in an assault for a record-extending 15th title at Roland Garros.

Confirmed and unconfirmed events

Monte-Carlo Masters – April 10-16

If he is fit, then you can put your money on Rafael Nadal appearing at the season-opening clay Masters event, the Monte-Carlo Masters, where he will be gunning for a 12th title.

Last year he missed the tournament as he was still recovering from the rib injury he picked up at the Indian Wells Open.

Barcelona Open – April 17-23

The Barcelona Open is another tournament that is synonymous with Nadal, but he also missed the 2022 edition due to injury.

However, he has already been confirmed for the 2022 tournament alongside defending champion Carlos Alcaraz and he will be hunting for a 13th title at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona.

Madrid Open – April 24-May 7

Nadal made his return from injury at the Madrid Open last year as he reached the quarter-final. He is a five-time champion in the Spanish capital with his last title coming in 2017.

Italian Open – May 8-15

The Rome Masters 1000 event is usually the key tournament ahead of Roland Garros and you can expect 10-time champion Nadal to be in the main draw if he is fit.

Last year he wasn’t 100%, but still entered and lost in the third round. Yet, he still went on to win at Roland Garros.

French Open – May 28-June 11

Roland Garros is considered Nadal’s backyard and he hasn’t missed an edition since making his debut in 2005.

The defending champion will be aiming to win a record-extending 15th title on the clay courts of Paris.

And in case you didn’t know, Nadal has lost just three matches at Roland Garros (2009, 2015, 2021) while in 2016 he withdrew from the third round due injury.

Wimbledon – July 3-16

During the early days of his career, Nadal played a couple of warm-up events to prepare for the grass-court Grand Slam, but these days he takes a break between the French Open and Wimbledon.

That is if he does play at SW19.

Last year he reached the semi-final before withdrawing due to injury while in 2021 he missed the tournament as he was recovering from his foot problem. His last Wimbledon title was in 2008.

Canadian Open – August 7-13

Nadal has in the past used the Citi Open (July 31) to prepare for the ATP Masters double assault in North America, but it is not a regular event on his calendar.

He is likely to play at the Canadian Open where he is a four-time champion, although he has missed the last two editions due to injury.

Cincinnati Open – August 14-20

Although one of the highlights of the ATP Masters calendar, Nadal has is not a regular visitor to Mason, Ohio. He missed four consecutive tournaments from 2018 to 2021 before finally making his return last year, losing in the second round.

Nadal’s only title win at the Cincinnati Open came in 2013.

US Open – August 28-September 10

The final Grand Slam of the season starts on the final Monday in August and Nadal is likely to feature if he is fit.

After winning his fourth title at Flushing Meadows in 2019, the Spaniard missed the next two events due to injury and returned last year only to lose in the fourth round against Frances Tiafoe.

Shanghai Masters – October 2-9

Nadal has in the past played at the China Open, but given that he is playing a reduced schedule these days it is unlikely that he will make the trip to China, which is set to return to the calendar following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Shanghai Masters is another event that will return following a three-year absence and Nadal hasn’t played there since 2017.

Paris Masters – October 30-November 5

The Paris Masters along with the ATP Finals and Shanghai Masters are the big titles that are absent from Nadal’s CV and his best performance in Paris-Bercy came in his debut event in 2007 when he finished runner-up.

He lost in the second round last year while he missed the 2021 tournament because of injury.

ATP Finals – November 12-19

Nadal hasn’t made the best of starts to the 2023 season so plenty of things need to fall into place before the ATP Finals can be penciled in.