Tennis news • Nadal officially out of Barcelona, ​​but no reason to panic over Roland-Garros status

Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from Barcelona. EPA-EFE / RAY ACEVEDO

By Ricky Dimon

Rafael Nadal has officially withdrawn from Barcelona’s Open Banc Sabadell due to a stress fracture to his ribs he suffered at the Indian Wells Masters last month.

It’s no surprise given the expected schedule for the injury. After Nadal was plagued with the problem in a loss to Taylor Fritz in the Indian Wells title match, the defending Australian Open champion indicated he would likely miss four to six weeks . This put the start of the clay-court swing in Monte Carlo and Barcelona out of the question.

Tuesday’s announcement only confirmed the inevitable and shouldn’t be cause for panic ahead of Roland-Garros.

“Rafa has just been removed from the Barcelona squad,” Nadal’s team said in a statement on Tuesday. “We don’t know yet when he will play his first clay-court tournament this year. Soon I hope.

“He does gym, but nothing that hurts him and so obviously not with the racquet. He is still suffering from his ribs and as expected when his injury was announced, he needs four to six weeks. We are at three, so logically he will not be able to play again in Barcelona.

Although Nadal should be good for going to Roland Garros (and possibly for previous Masters 1000s in Madrid and Rome), his status is one reason why the French Open men’s singles title might be more up for grabs among a abnormally high number of legitimate suitors.

After Nadal, the clay major favorites are Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev. Djokovic has been mostly inactive in 2022 and he and Alcaraz lost their first games in Monte Carlo. Tsitsipas has crumbled since losing the 2021 French Open final to Djokovic and Zverev is also not in top form at the moment. Additionally, two-time Roland Garros runner-up Dominic Thiem has been sidelined for nearly a year with a wrist injury. Recent world number 1 and current world number 2 Daniil Medvedev could miss the entire clay court swing with a hernia.

The French Open begins on May 22. Nadal hopes to be back for the Mutua Madrid Open, starting May 1.

Ricky contributes to and also maintains its own tennis website, the Grandstand. You can follow him on Twitter at @Dimonator.

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