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HomeSportRafael Nadal Set for ATP Tour Comeback on Monte Carlo Clay Courts

Rafael Nadal Set for ATP Tour Comeback on Monte Carlo Clay Courts

Rafael Nadal is set to make his return to the ATP Tour on the clay courts of Monte Carlo next month, tournament organizers announced on Tuesday. You never know what he’s going to do, but I saw him training with his coaches on a private court… and I had the impression I was listening to a wild beast. He hits like he’s never hit before,” said tournament director David Massey at a press conference in Paris.

“He felt some discomfort, so he was scared and decided not to play at Indian Wells, but the tests he underwent showed nothing,” he added.

Nadal, with 22 Grand Slam titles to his name, has dropped to 652nd in the ATP rankings this week and used a protected ranking of ninth to get into the main draw in Monte Carlo, the first clay-court Masters 1000 event of the 2024 season.

The clay specialist has won the tournament 11 times in his career but since his last victory in 2018, he fell at the semi-finals in 2019, the quarters in 2021 and missed the 2020, 2022 and 2023 editions. “We sent him two boxes of balls to Mallorca so that he could practice (with the balls that will be used in the tournament),” said Massey.

Nadal missed almost all of the 2023 season with abdominal and other injuries and has played only the Brisbane International this season, where he suffered a flare-up of a hip injury.

The 37-year-old Spaniard was set to make his comeback at the Indian Wells Masters but pulled out of the hard-court event last week without playing a point. The bombshell decision came four days after he lost a Las Vegas exhibition to compatriot and world number two Carlos Alcaraz.

The Monte Carlo Masters begins on April 7 and marks the beginning of the clay-court season where Nadal may well play his last-ever French Open, a Grand Slam event he has won a record 14 times.

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