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Rafael Nadal confirms participation at Barcelona Open 2024

Published at :April 15, 2024 at 9:28 PM
Modified at :April 15, 2024 at 9:28 PM
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(Courtesy : Hindustan Times)

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The 22-Time grand slam champion targets 13th Barcelona title.

Rafael Nadal announced in a recent press conference that he will be making his return to tennis at the Barcelona Open after a long hiatus from the sport.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion played his last match at the Brisbane International earlier this year. While in Australia, Nadal suffered another injury, which sidelined him for almost three more months. The Spaniard was initially expected to make his return at the Miami Open; however, his comeback was eventually postponed.

Fortunately, the “King of Clay” has finally announced his return to the sport with the ongoing ATP 500 Barcelona Open. Rafael Nadal will face Italy’s Flavio Cobolli in the first round at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona. The 22-time Grand Slam champion stated in the pre-tournament press conference:

“I came here a bit of a last minute decision, because I didn’t know if I was going to be able to play. Tomorrow I will be on the court”

Nadal played his last match on clay in 2022, where he defeated Casper Ruud in the final of the French Open to win his 14th Roland Garros title. He missed last year’s clay season entirely due to his hip injury. Rafael Nadal’s compatriot, Carlos Alcaraz, the defending champion of the Barcelona Open, has already withdrawn from the ATP 500 competition because of a right arm injury.

The Spanish tennis star is expected to record a comfortable victory over World Ranking (WR) 62 Flavio Coboll in the first round. India’s Sumit Nagal eliminated Coboll in the first qualifying round of the ATP 1000 Monte Carlo Masters. If Nadal wins, he is expected to face fourth seed Australia’s Alex de Minaur in the Round of 32.

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At the 2023 Australian Open, the Spaniard’s hip injury flared up, and due to fitness issues, he had to miss all the remaining tournaments of the season to undergo surgery and recover.

Moreover, the ongoing campaign is expected to be his last season, as Nadal has dropped a few hints about his potential retirement from the sport. Looking at Nadal’s performance at the Barcelona Open, the Spaniard’s success at the ATP 500 event has been unparalleled.

Nadal has won the tournament 12 times, and his match-winning rate has been greater than 94%. Additionally, he has won all the finals in which he has played. However, he secured his last Barcelona Open accolade in 2021

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