Rafael Nadal could could come back on the court directly on clay, specifically at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. The Majorcan underwent instrumental tests immediately after the defeat against Mackenzie McDonald at the Australian Open; tests that showed a 2nd degree lesion to the iliopsoas muscle.
The Indian Wells and Miami Masters 1000 seem increasingly distant for the Spaniard, who in recent days has raised the white flag in view of the tournaments in Doha and Dubai. A further clue arrived this morning. Nadal has indeed announced that on March 5 he will not take part in the exhibition match with Carlos Alcaraz at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The event was presented in grand style by the organizers, who will however have to give up the 22-time Grand Slam champion. If it were, it would be yet another wise choice in Nadal’s career. The Spaniard, at other times in his career, has adopted this solution to be competitive during the most important and winning season for him.
And statistically, almost every time, with the exception of the 2015 and 2016 seasons, similar choices have paid off. Nadal could have one of the last chances of his career to win Roland Garros, considering that the professional horizon of the star from Manacor could limit two more years on the Tour.
Rafael Nadal, Indian Wells increasingly at risk
Nadal’s choice could represent, as already specified, an important clue in view of the next commitments. The Indian Wells Masters 1000 will in fact begin on March 22, therefore just two weeks before the match that the Spaniard was supposed to play against Alcaraz in Las Vegas.
Without adequate preparation, it is unlikely that Nadal will run the risk of taking the field in the two American 1000. Just in California, Nadal was injured last year before the final then lost to Taylor Fritz. Juan Carlos Ferrero, former number one and current coach of Alcaraz, talked about Nadal’s future in a recent interview with the Clay website.
He explained: “Nadal still has a lot of desire to compete and I think his physique will set the limits. In 2022 he won two Grand Slam tournaments, so I think it’s normal to have strong motivations. Not playing at your usual level could discourage you.
As long as he can express this level, he will continue to have this kind of motivation. He will retire when he feels he is no longer competitive and stops having fun.”
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