‘It is extremely rare that Rafael Nadal…’, says top coach

Rafael Nadal sustained a fractured rib during the semifinal of the Indian Wells Masters 1000 against Carlos Alcaraz. The Spanish champion was therefore forced to miss the first rounds on clay and will have less time than usual to prepare for Roland Garros. The 21-time Grand Slam champion is preparing to return to the field in Madrid, a tournament that has seen him impose himself on five occasions. However, his last triumph in the Iberian capital dates back to 2017, testifying to a fluctuating feeling with the Caja Magica. The 35-year-old from Manacor got off to a fantastic start to the season, winning the Australian Open against all odds. The former world number 1 has thus overtaken Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the all-time rankings of the Majors. Rafa won his first 20 games played in 2022, a streak that ended in the Indian Wells final (lost to Taylor Fritz). Interviewed by French television on the eve of the Mutua Madrid Open, Patrick Mouratoglou said that it will not be easy for Rafa to reach 100% at Roland Garros.

Rafael Nadal is the King of Clay 

“Rafael Nadal did not going to play many games, and it is extremely rare that he arrives at Roland with so few games. So, for Roland-Garros, there is a real unknown for him. Despite his incredible start to the season, he is a player who has always needed to play a lot. He will not reach the top.” 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. The Mallorcan is a record five-time champion at the Madrid Open, having first won the tournament in 2005. After losing to Roger Federer in the 2009 final, Nadal got one back against the Swiss in the final in 2010. 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.