"He's gonna win a 15th French Open, isn't he?" - Rafael Nadal fans jubilant as Spaniard steps up comeback plans
Rafael Nadal has not competed on tour since the Australian Open in January, but in recent weeks he has accelerated his comeback plans.
Nadal sustained a hip injury against Mackenzie McDonald in the second round of the Melbourne Major. But news broke last week of the Spaniard making a comeback on clay at the upcoming Monte-Carlo Masters, delighting his fans around the globe.
While Nadal has refused to confirm or deny his participation in Monte-Carlo, it appears that he is hard at work honing his skills for when he returns to the tour. The Spaniard recently posted a picture of himself practicing on clay at his Mallorca academy on Instagram, writing:
"We continue with the preparation for the return to competition." (Translated from Spanish).
His fans were overjoyed with the post and took to Twitter to express their delight. One fan stated that seeing Nadal working hard on clay has led them to believe that he will win his 15th French Open title this year.
"He’s gonna win a 15th French Open isn’t he," the fan wrote.
Another fan wished the Spaniard luck with his preparations and promised to be there to cheer him on whenever he returns to the court.
"Can’t think of a better sight to see!! All the best for your prep, Rafa!! We are unconditionally supporting you and will be here to cheer you on whenever and wherever you return! VAMOS!!!!" the fan tweeted.
Here are a few more reactions from fans:
What did Rafael Nadal have to say about falling out of the ATP top 10 for the first time since 2005?
Rafael Nadal’s absence from the 2023 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells saw the 22-time Grand Slam champion slip out of the top 10 for the first time since 2005.
In a recent interview, the Spaniard stated that while he would prefer to be inside the top 10, he must simply "accept" things as they happen.
"I prefer to be in the top-10, it's obvious, but in the end, you have to accept things as they come," he said.
Given all the injuries he's had over the last 18 years, Rafael Nadal said it was a "miracle" that he hadn't dropped out of the top 10 sooner.
"With all the injuries I've had over the last 18 years, not having left the top-10 at any occasion is practically a miracle," he said.
"A time has come when a lot has happened in the last year: a broken rib, two abdominal tears, now the psoas, foot problems. There are many things that, in tennis, with a ranking that lasts a year. You know if you don't play, you're out of the top-10," he added.
What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here