Good news for Rafa Nadal fans: King of Clay 'eyeing' Madrid Open return from injury
Rafael Nadal started the season on a 20 match-winning streak, picking up titles in Melbourne and Acapulco before he fractured his rib in the Indian Wells.
In what has sparked excitement among Rafael Nadal fans, the Spaniard's uncle, Toni Nadal, has revealed that the 'King of Clay', who has been out of action owing to an injury, intends to return at the Madrid Open slated to take place next month.
Nadal has been out of action since Indian Wells, after picking up a stress fracture in his rib. The injury brought his 20 match-winning streak to an end after losing the championship match to Taylor Fritz. The 35-year-old, who bagged the Australian Open and Mexico Open earlier this year, is set to make his return in less than two weeks after his uncle and former coach revealed his comeback plans.
"He (Nadal) told me yes, that he would arrive. Then, we'll see," the current coach of ATP No 9, Felix Auger-Aliassime told TVE.
The World number 4 missed last week's Monte-Carlo Masters and was then forced to withdraw from this week's Barcelona Open, leaving the Madrid Masters as the next clay event Nadal could return to. The tournament, which begins on May 2, has been a happy hunting ground for the Spanish ace as he has won the Madrid Open five times in his career.
Toni's revelation came a day after the 21-time Grand Slam winner was seen practising in court four weeks after picking up the injury. "Yesterday he started training and he still has 15 days left to see how everything evolves. If he arrives in good condition, he will play," Toni Nadal added.
These comments from Nadal's uncle have sparked massive excitement among fans of the Spanish ace as they hope to see their favourite star return for Madrid and the Rome Masters, which takes place a week later before he competes for a record 14th French Open crown.
Suppose the Spaniard can get some matches on the clay in Madrid and Rome ahead of Roland Garros; in that case, Nadal will likely cement himself as the favourite once more after the rib injury casts a cloud over his chances to participate.