Sunday, June 16, 2024

Tomorrow I will be on the court

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Rafael Nadal officially put to bed doubts about his participation at the ongoing Barcelona Open, confirning in his pre-tournament press conference that he will be back in action at the ATP 500 event.

Nadal last played this year at the Brisbane International, where an injury sustained during his run to the quarterfinals put the Spaniard on the sidelines until now. After multiple postponed comebacks, it’s Barcelona where Nadal has finally regained full fitness to be competitive at the top level.

Speaking on site, the 12-time tournament champion admitted that he didn’t know until the last minute if he would be able to play. But with Tuesday being his scheduled first-round clash against Flavio Cobolli, the 22-time Grand Slam champion proclaimed that he’s confident enough to assert that he will be stepping onto the court against the Italian.

“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,” Rafael Nadal said.

The last time Nadal played on clay was at the 2022 French Open, where he beat Casper Ruud in the final (June 5) to win his 14th Roland Garros title. After 680 days, the Mallorcan will play again on the surface after missing out the entirety of the 2023 clay swing because of injury.

When the former World No. 1 ends that absence come Tuesday, he will look to extend his title record at Barcelona in the absence of compatriot Carlos Alcaraz. The World No. 3 was the top seed at the tournament initially but had to withdraw at the last moment due to discomfort in his right arm.

Who are Rafael Nadal’s biggest obstacles at Barcelona Open 2024?

The Netflix Slam, A Live Netflix Sports Event
The Netflix Slam, A Live Netflix Sports Event

A win in the opening round against Flavio Cobolli will pit Rafael Nadal against fourth seed Alex de Minaur in the second round of the 2024 Barcelona Open. After that, there are potential third-round and quarterfinal clashes against 16th seed Arthur Fils and sixth seed Ugo Humbert respectively.

From the first section, fifth seed Stefanos Tstisipas, recently crowned the champion at the Monte-Carlo Masters, is likely to advance to the semifinals. Second seed Andrey Rublev and third seed Casper Ruud are expected to fight it out for a spot in the final from the bottom half of the draw.

What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here

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