Rafael Nadal called the Monte Carlo Masters one of the key tournaments of his career but noted that competing there while not feeling his best would not be the smartest thing to do. On Tuesday, Nadal – who hasn’t played since the Australian Open due to a hip injury – announced his withdrawal from Monte Carlo.
Nadal, a record 11-time Monte Carlo champion, said competing in Monte Carlo would leave him at risk of getting re-injured. “Unfortunately I am still not ready to compete and will miss one of those special tournaments I always love to play.
Monte Carlo is and has been a key event on my career, but unfortunately I will have to miss it again since I am still not ready to compete without the risk of getting injured. I will continue the process of getting ready to come back,” Nadal said in an official press release.
When will Nadal play?
Now that it is 100% clear that Nadal won’t be making his comeback in Monte Carlo, the Barcelona Open remains his next target. The Barcelona Open is starting on April 17th, with Nadal confirmed for the tournament.
Just like in Monte Carlo, Nadal has had lots of success in Barcelona as he is a record 12-time champion at the Spanish ATP 500 event. Barring a further setback, Nadal is expected to play three tournaments leading up to the French Open.
After Barcelona, Nadal is also signed up to compete at the Masters events in Madrid and Rome. For Nadal, missing further tournaments would not be a good thing since he needs matches to find his game and rhythm before the French Open.
Last year, Nadal was hampered by a foot injury but still managed to win a record 14th French Open title. It remains to be seen if Nadal can again rise to the occassion and win a record 15th title at Roland Garros this year.