April 13, 2024

Nadal to make ATP return next week in Barcelona

Nadal to make ATP return next week in Barcelona


Rafael Nadal will make his return to ATP competition for the first time since January when he plays Flavio Cobolli in the Barcelona Open next week.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion has played just once, in an exhibition match, since he felt a hip injury flare-up during his quarter-final defeat by Jordan Thompson in the Brisbane Open.

The tournament has also been boosted by the return of Nadal’s compatriot Carlos Alcaraz, the world No.3, who withdrew from this week’s Monte Carlo Masters due to a right arm injury.

Unlike Nadal the two-time defending Barcelona champion gets a first round bye due to being seeded.

Nadal, 37, missed virtually all of the 2023 season through injury and has only played at the Brisbane International this season.

The injury in Brisbane prompted the record 14-time French Open winner’s withdrawal from the Australian Open as well as Doha and Indian Wells, where he had first intended to make his comeback.

His one appearance since Brisbane came in an exhibition match against Alcaraz in Las Vegas in March where observers noted some discomfort in his back.

With this potentially Nadal’s last year on tour, he will be desperate not to miss any more clay court preparation time as he seeks to win a record 15th French Open title in June.