Rafael Nadal Indian Wells Masters 2022

‘Rafa intends to play’ Uncle Toni confirms Nadal aspirations

Ton Nadal, the legendary former coach and uncle of 21-time Slam winner Rafael, has said that his nephew is looking to make his long-awaited return from injury at the Madrid Masters at the start of May. 

35-year-old Rafael Nadal has had a fantastic start to the 2022 season.

In fact, after going 20-0 before losing in the final of the Indian Wells Masters, it is his best start to a season ever.

In January the Spanish veteran won the ATP 250 Melbourne Summer set before claiming a record 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open.

A fourth career Acapulco title in February and a run to the final at Indian Wells Masters last month followed.

However, that scintillating form was halted in its tracks after Nadal suffered a cracked rib in California which has placed him out of action for four to six weeks.

The injury means Nadal has missed the start of the European clay court swing, including this week’s Barcelona Open.

Four weeks on from his cracked rib diagnosis, Nadal announced on Instagram that his recovery plans were right on schedule, his taking shape as he took to the court for the first time in a month.

This announcement fuelled speculation that Nadal could make his return at the Madrid Open at the start of May.

Now, Nadal’s uncle and former coach Toni has confirmed Nadal’s hopes of competing at the La Caja Magica this year.

Speaking to Spanish channel RTVE, the 61-year-old said: “Rafa told me he intends to play in Madrid.

“There are still two weeks left to see if everything goes correctly.

“If he is fit, he will play.”

The Madrid Open is scheduled to take place from the 1-8th May, six weeks on from Nadal’s cracked rib diagnosis.

If fit to compete, Rafael Nadal will be looking to add a record-extending sixth Madrid Open title and first trophy there since 2017.

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