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"We don't know yet when he will be at his first tournament on clay" - Rafael Nadal's team confirms Spaniard's absence from Barcelona Open

The Mallorcan with his 2021 Barcelona Open title
The Mallorcan with his 2021 Barcelona Open title
Stan

Rafael Nadal has officially withdrawn from the 2022 Barcelona Open as he continues to recover from a stress fracture in his rib. The news of his withdrawal has been confirmed by his team.

The Mallorcan suffered a fracture during the semifinals of the Indian Wells Masters. His doctor later confirmed that the 21-time Major champion would need to spend up to six weeks on the sidelines to fully recover.

The 2022 Barcelona Open is scheduled to commence on 18 April. The event will arrive a tad too soon for the King of Clay, who is a 12-time champion in the city.

Nadal's team revealed to Reuters that he has been removed from the entry list in Barcelona as they continue to assess his schedule.

“Rafa has just been withdrawn from the entry list in Barcelona,” his team told Reuters. “We don’t know yet when he will be at his first tournament on clay this year. Hopefully, soon.”

Even if Nadal does not return to action in April, he will have a few tournaments to fine-tune his game in May, including the Madrid and Rome Masters. Additionally, there are a couple of ATP 250 events in Geneva and Lyon if the Mallorcan feels he needs an extra bit of match practice ahead of Roland Garros.

Rafael Nadal has an impressive record in the Barcelona Open

The Spaniard beat Dominic Thiem in the final to lift the 2017 Barcelona Open title
The Spaniard beat Dominic Thiem in the final to lift the 2017 Barcelona Open title

Rafael Nadal has won the Barcelona Open a whopping 12 times. The next most successful players are Mats Wilander, Roy Emerson, and Manuel Orantes, each of whom has lifted the title on three occasions.

More impressively, the Mallorcan has never lost a final at the Barcelona Open, winning all 12 of the summit clashes he has played in his home event.

The former World No. 1 beat Juan Carlos Ferrero to lift his first Barcelona Open title in 2005. He then went on to win the subsequent four editions of the event, beating Tommy Robredo, Guillermo Canas, and David Ferrer (twice).

The 35-year-old scored two more wins over David Ferrer in the finals of the 2011 and 2012 editions before accounting for Nicolas Almagro in 2013. His next spree of Barcelona Open titles came between 2016 and 2018 when he beat Kei Nishikori, Dominic Thiem, and Stefanos Tsitsipas, respectively, in the title matches.

The southpaw beat Tsitsipas in the final once again last year.


Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee

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