The 21-time Major winner Rafael Nadal will stay away from the court between four and six weeks due to an injury! World no. 3 returned to Spain after losing the Indian Wells final and went to see his doctors. As it turned out, he has a stress fracture in his rib and will have to stay away from the court at least for a month.
Nadal has made an incredible start in 2022, winning 20 out of 21 matches and claiming three titles from four finals. The Spaniard could not keep a perfect record following a 6-3, 7-6 loss to Taylor Fritz in the Indian Wells final, struggling with a rib injury and not playing at his best.
Thus, the 11-time Monte Carlo champion will skip the season’s first Masters 1000 event on clay for the first time in 18 years! Nadal made the Masters 1000 debut in 2003 at 16, qualifying for the main draw and defeating two rivals to find himself in the last 16.
A year later, a teenager skipped Monte Carlo due to an ankle injury from Estoril, returning to the Principality in 2005 to establish his domination.
Rafael Nadal will skip Monte Carlo for the first time since 2004.
Rafa has been 71-5 in Monte Carlo since 2005, conquering 11 titles and staying undefeated between 2005-2012!
The Spaniard claimed three consecutive titles at one of his favorite events between 2016-2018, and he failed to deliver the 12th crown in the last two editions. Last year, Nadal did not play for two months ahead of Monte Carlo, dealing with a back injury and hoping for a better run on his beloved surface.
The Spaniard claimed two victories before experiencing a 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 loss to Andrey Rublev in two hours and 32 minutes. It was Nadal’s earliest Monte Carlo loss since 2014, as he failed to overpower an in-form young gun in the baseline rallies.
Rublev left the second set behind him and pushed strong again in the decider to advance into the second straight Masters 1000 semi-final after Miami a few weeks earlier. Rublev stole Nadal’s serve on seven occasions, dominating the scoreboard in sets one and three to deliver one of his most cherished victories.
Andrey had 23 winners and 28 unforced errors, taming his strokes nicely and taking advantage of Rafa’s over 30 unforced mistakes, especially from his backhand wing. Like in 2019 against Fabio Fognini, Nadal was miles from his best, spraying too many double faults and failing to match Rublev’s pace in sets one and three to hit the exit door. If he fails to recover in time for the Barcelona Open, Nadal should return to action in Madrid in May.