Rafael Nadal - Roland Garros 2022

Rafael Nadal ‘come back’ conditions revealed by former coach

Rafael Nadal has spoken to his former coach and uncle, Toni Nadal, about the stipulations for him to return in time for Roland Garros.

Nadal has been on the injury sidelines since the Australian Open with a grade two tear to his iliopsoas, and while he has began practicing again the Spaniard revealed that he was ‘not ready’ to return to the matchcourt in Barcelona this week.

The 36-year-old was coached by his uncle Toni from the age of four to 31, winning 17 Grand Slam titles, 30 Masters 1000 titles and an Olympic gold medal in that period.

Toni Nadal admitted that he has spoken to the now 22-time Grand Slam champion about his comeback to tennis, “I spoke with him on Saturday. And he will only come back if he is in good condition, 100%.”

He continued, “He knows that otherwise it will not be good for him. He played the Australian Open without being on top. I think he wants to feel very good. He would like to arrive at Roland Garros with confidence and a good physique. For now, we have to wait. But he still has the mind to try to win another time.”

While Rafael Nadal has only won one out of his four matches this season, Toni still ‘thinks’ that his nephew has an opportunity to claim a 15th Roland Garros title.

“I have said many times about Rafa that even if he does not arrive in very good conditions, when he enters the Philippe‐Chatrier court, everything changes,” said Toni Nadal.

“He needs a few not-too-difficult matches to ramp up. I know [Alexander] Zverev, [Carlos] Alcaraz, [Novak] Djokovic, [Holger] Rune, [Andrey] Rublev are very strong. But with his mind, I also know that Rafa can win. I want to think the same this year.”

Toni added, “Even if Rafa wouldn’t play any match before Roland Garros, I’m confident. Sometimes when he arrived at Roland Garros his first match was not so good, like was the case last year, but then match after match he played better and better. He plays round after round with more intensity, better and better with his legs, so I hope this year he can do the same even if it will be difficult.”

Roland Garros begins in just over a month and Nadal’s appearance at the lead up events, the Madrid Open and the Italian Open, is still up in the air.

Rafael Nadal potential schedule 

While it is still unclear whether Nadal will be taking part, these are the tournaments that the ‘king of clay’ is currently entered into:

Madrid Open – Begins 26th April

Italian Open – Begins 10th May

Roland Garros – Begins 28th May

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.