Will we see ‘King of Clay Court’ Rafael Nadal (World Ranking 14th, Spain) at the French Open?
On the 4th (local time), Nadal announced through his social media (SNS) that he would not participate in the Men’s Professional Tennis (ATP토토사이트) Tour Monte Carlo Masters, which will be held on the 10th. “I’m not ready to compete at the highest level,” Nadal wrote. “Unfortunately, I won’t be able to participate in Monte Carlo, one of the most important events in my career.” He added, “I am working hard on my recovery and hope to come back soon.”
Nadal has been sluggish this year compared to the previous year. He participated in the 2023 Australian Open, the first major tournament of the season, as the defending champion as the top seed, but was eliminated early in the second round. It was the first time in seven years that Nadal failed to reach the third round (Round of 32) in a major tournament after being eliminated in the first round of the 2016 Australian Open.
To make matters worse, he suffered a hip injury during this competition. Nadal was initially expected to recover in the middle of last month, but his return was delayed more and more. As he entered his mid-30s, an analysis came out that his recovery speed was lower than in his prime. The year is 1986, and he is 37 years old this year. As he could not participate in the tournament due to an injury, his world ranking plummeted. Nadal, who had consistently been in the top 10, was finally pushed out of the top 10 in the middle of last month. It was the first time in 18 years that Nadal was out of the top 10.
Since April is the clay (soil) court season in which Nadal shows a strong side, fans are regretting it. The Monte Carlo competition is the first ‘Masters 1000’ competition in the clay court season that runs from April to May. The Masters 1000 gives a lot of ranking points next to the four major competitions and the finals, which is the king-of-the-king match held at the end of the year. Nadal is the all-time winner of the Monte Carlo Tournament. He won as many as 11 times until the 2018 tournament, when he last lifted the championship trophy.
In addition, the major tournament, the French Open, opens on May 28. This is Nadal’s best performance ever. In the French Open alone, he won a total of 14 times, the most in a single major tournament. Nadal is also in fierce competition with his rival Novak Djokovic (Serbia) for the title of the most winners in men’s singles at a major tournament. Both players have a record of 22 championships in their career. Meanwhile, Carlos Alcaras (2nd place), who is also from Spain and is called the ‘second Nadal’, will also miss the Monte Carlo tournament due to injury.