Sports

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, 37-year-old Nadal was forced to withdrew from the Monte Carlo Masters after not recovering in time from injury to play the clay court season opener.

The record 14-time French Open winner missed virtually all of the 2023 season through injury and has only played at the Brisbane International this season, where he felt a hip injury flare-up during his quarter-final defeat by Jordan Thompson.

That prompted his withdrawal from the Australian Open as well as Doha and Indian Wells, where he had first intended to make his comeback.

His one appearance since Brisbane came in an exhibition match against Carlos Alcaraz in Las Vegas in March where observers noted some discomfort in his back.

With this potentially Nadal’s last year on tour, he will be desperate not to miss any more clay court preparation time as he seeks to win a record 15th French Open title in June.

Earlier on Wednesday, the official Barcelona Open account shared a video on social media of 12-time tournament winner Nadal having a hit on the event’s centre court — which bears his name.

On Tuesday, fellow Spaniard Alcaraz also pulled out of Monte Carlo due to injury, making the two-time defending Barcelona Open champion’s presence uncertain next week.

The Barcelona Open runs from April 15 to 21.

AFP

Kayode Oyero

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