‘The Rib Is Very Disabling’ – Rafael Nadal Drops Huge Injury Bomb Ahead of His Mutual Madrid Open Campaign

Published 04/30/2022, 3:51 PM EDT

Rafael Nadal is the King of Clay for good reason. As far as statistics go, he is definitely the most accomplished player on the red dirt with his records practically untouchable by any of the active players in the ATP circuit right now.

While the start to his 2022 season was fantastic, he suffered an injury at the Indian Wells Masters which has kept him away from couple of clay tournaments this year so far.

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Rafael Nadal is making a comeback at the Madrid Open

However, his rehab schedule has been on track and he is all set o begin his clay campaign at the Madrid Open on Tuesday. Nadal, as always, has been extremely honest and realistic about his chances at the tournament. The Spaniard said that he could not put in enough hours on the court before the tournament.

“I come here with great enthusiasm, but very fair, really. I have trained very little because the rib is very disabling and also very painful,” he said. He also mentioned, “I had two very bad weeks. I have not been able to do practically anything, but it is here at home, in Madrid.”

However, given that it is Rafael Nadal and the surface is clay, it will be quite a foolish thing to dismiss him from the list of contenders at Madrid.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Madrid Open – Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain – May 6, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates winning his third round match against Australia’s Alexei Popyrin REUTERS/Juan Medina

Nadal started the year by winning the Melbourne Summer Set and then went on to win his 21st Grand Slam at the Australian Open 2022. He defeated Daniil Medvedev, the world number 2, in an epic five-set match.

This was especially impressive because there had been doubts as to whether he could play at the Australian Open or not given his foot injury  and a bout of Covid-19 right before the first Grand Slam of the year. But, he proved even his harshest critics wrong by winning the title. Nadal then won yet another ATP singles title in Acapulco.

Mar 12, 2022; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Rafael Nadal (ESP) serves in his 2nd round match defeating Sebastian Korda (USA) at the BNP Paribas open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

He even reached the finals of the Indian Wells Masters. However, he sustained a stress-induced fracture on his ribs and thus missed the first few tournaments of the clay season.

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Another Spaniard is following in Nadal’s footsteps

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18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz has had a career projection which is eerily similar to his idol Nadal. Alcaraz, who has practiced with Nadal before and is a regular visitor at the Rafa Nadal Academy, has been in a terrific form in 2022.

The talented youngster won his first 1000 Masters at the Miami open. He then went on to win at the Barcelona open as well. At 18 years of age, Alcaraz broke into the top-10 of the singles rankings, which is a remarkable feat indeed. Nadal also spoke about his young compatriot.

Tennis – ATP 500 – Barcelona Open – Real Club de Tenis Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain. April 24, 2022, Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz Garfia celebrates with the trophy after winning the final match against Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta REUTERS/Albert Gea

“We know that he is very good. When he shot up it was a matter of time and he has done so since the beginning of the year. I am happy for him, and for Spanish sport and tennis,” Nadal said about Carlos. The two have been put in the same draw, and if all goes well, they are set for a quarter-final clash. Fans are also waiting with bated breath to see yet another battle between the two.

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Rishma Banerjee

317 articles

Rishma Banerjee is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having done her masters in Political Science with International Relations from Jadavpur University, Rishma's outlet from the hustle-bustle of academics has always been sports, especially Tennis. A die-hard fan of Rafael Nadal, she admires his grit, determination and dedication towards always being better. When not writing content for firms dealing with fintech to social media marketing to sports, she finds herself in journals and books dealing with geopolitics and strategic studies or scrolling endlessly through Tumblr!

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