Rafael Nadal Indian Wells Masters 2022

Rafael Nadal’s injury lay-off could be a ‘positive’ and a ‘bonus’ ahead of French Open

Chris Evert thinks Rafael Nadal being forced into time off through injury may be a blessing in disguise as “any time he can rest is a bonus and a positive.”

Rafael Nadal marked his return from a six month injury lay-off in remarkable fashion by going 20-1 for the new year, winning a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title in the process.

Despite a six month absence he won the Melbourne Summer Set, the Australian Open, the Mexican Open and reached the final of the Indian Wells Masters.

However, Nadal sustained a stress fracture to one of his ribs en route to the final in the American desert. As a result, he was ruled out for four to six weeks.

This means he will definitely miss next week’s Monte Carlo Masters and could potentially miss the Madrid Masters later this month. Such an absence will severely hamper his French Open preparation.

However, 18-time Grand Slam icon Chris Evert feels Nadal’s injury could prove to be a blessing in disguise and may provide him with time to rest and recover from his remarkable start to the new season.

Speaking to Eurosport ahead of the French Open, Evert said “I think with his record this year, he’s lost one match so far.

“He had that streak of so many tournaments and so many wins, and he’s had a wonderful start to 2022. I think this injury is a hiccup.

“I think any time Rafa can rest and take time off, I think is a bonus, is a positive for him. What comes into effect is the years and years before. It’s not only what happened three or four weeks ago.

“He’s a myriad, or an abundance, of experience and confidence from years and years of pulling himself out of tough matches and being World number one. I don’t think the mental part will affect him,” she believes.

“He’s put his body through the mill the last 20 years and I think the more important thing right now is making sure that he’s healthy, especially when you’re playing three out of five sets.

“Especially when you’re playing Grand Slams, seven matches to win, and especially with how well the other men are playing. I think it’s crucial that he’s 100% healthy if he hopes to win the French Open.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.