Rafael Nadal Confirms Big-Bang Return on Clay Following Miami Open 2021 Withdrawal

Published 03/22/2021, 10:40 AM EDT
PARIS, FRANCE – OCTOBER 11: Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after winning a point during his Men’s Singles Final against Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day fifteen of the 2020 French Open at Roland Garros on October 11, 2020 in Paris, France. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)


Out of action since the semi-final loss at this year’s Australian Open, Rafael Nadal is gearing up for a big bang return in the upcoming clay court season.

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The 20-time Grand Slam champion, who is one of many top stars missing from the men’s draw at the year’s first ATP Masters 1000 event in Miami, has made himself available for the entire clay court leg, starting with Monte Carlo.

Rafael Nadal will play four clay court events in the run-up to his title defense at French Open

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Keen to build up to a successful title defense at Roland-Garros, Nadal will play four clay-court events in total, namely Monte Carlo, Barcelona, hometown Madrid and Rome.

The Spaniard lifted his 13th French Open title, more than any other player past or present, last year and will be hoping to continue his remarkable run this year as well.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 06: Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates his straight-sets victory to the crowd after his Men’s Singles semi-final match against Matteo Berrettini of Italy on day twelve of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 06, 2019 in Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

He will mark his return to competitive action at the Monte Carlo event, which will be staged from April 11 to April 18 and then play the ATP 500 event in Barcelona from April 19 to April 25.

The Spaniard will return to his base, Madrid, to wage his third straight clay-court campaign from May 2 to May 9. He will then fly off to Rome to play the prestigious Italian Open, which will kick off on May 9 and culminate on May 16.

Build-up events will give Rafael Nadal enough momentum going into Roland-Garros

The series of build-up events and the matches therein will have given the 34-year-old Nadal enough momentum going into the French Open, which gets underway on May 23.

And, by June 6, which is the closing date at Roland-Garros, the tennis world will have known if all the build-up action translated into a happy culmination for the Spaniard.

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Nadal will also be keen on picking up some valuable ranking points during the clay-court swing to regain the second spot in the singles rankings.

Russian tennis star Daniil Medvedev’s final appearance at the Australian Open and his run of wins from last year, which saw him pick the prestigious Rolex Paris Masters and the Nitto ATP Finals titles back-to-back, lifted him to number 2 in the ranking, with the Spaniard dropping to third.

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More than anything else, the Nadal fans will hope he stays injury-free till he arrives at his happy hunting ground.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

845 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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