Madrid Masters 2023: Nadal still hasn’t healed | Sports

The calendar continues discounting dates towards Roland Garros (as of May 28) and the latest news, issued by the mouth of the protagonist himself, offer a confirmation, as cold as meridian: today, Rafael Nadal’s body does not finish responding . The 22-major champion, who will turn 37 on June 3, announced Thursday that he will not be able to compete at the end of this month in the Madrid Masters and that he will therefore miss his seventh tournament this season. Injured to the iliopsoas in his left leg since January 18, the Spaniard was seen through a clarifying video, without pleas or ambiguity; the recovery process is not as desired and the treatment applied does not finish working either, so the cartridges are running out and where until recently there were questions, now concern is spreading.

Unlike the brief messages that he transmitted to communicate his absences in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, ​​this time the tennis player extended and specified. “It has been a while since I communicated directly with you. It has been a difficult few weeks and months, ”he introduced in the note. “In principle they had to be a six to eight week recovery period, and we are already on 14. The reality is that the situation is not what we would have expected. All medical indications have been followed, but somehow the evolution has not been what they initially told us and we find ourselves in a difficult situation”, continued the Spaniard, who had designed a launching pad for Paris with four preparatory tournaments , now reduced to just one. Or maybe none.

“The weeks are passing and I had the illusion of being able to play in tournaments that are the most important in my career such as Monte Carlo, Barcelona, ​​Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros, and so far I have missed two. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to be in Madrid either”, lamented Nadal, as crude as he was realistic. At this time, neither his injury has just subsided nor the rhythm acquired in the training sessions carried out so far was necessary, so that, just 38 days after the celebration of the great Frenchman, he will opt for a strategic turn that slipped in this last part . While the rest of the aspirants to succeed in the Bois de Boulogne are filming each other, Novak Djokovic in the Banja Luka arena and Carlos Alcaraz on the Godó arena, he continues with questions and without being able to unravel the situation.

The mystery grows and from his environment the same conservative message that was transferred a month ago persists, when from some corners his presence on the tour on clay was taken for granted. However, the estimated time of withdrawal continues to expand and the planning has been blown up. Nadal is exposed -14th in the ranking– to an unusual situation, since he had never disembarked in his domains in Paris with such little preparation; In 2020 he only played the Rome appointment, three base games, but then the pandemic tore the calendar to shreds and the margin granted was minimal. Even so, he was able to carry out his assault successfully, although at that time his chassis responded with relative guarantees and the condition was above all environmental, since the tournament had to be moved to autumn as it had been suspended in the spring.

“I can’t give deadlines”

Last year, the injury suffered in Indian Wells (cracked ribs) delayed his appearance until Madrid, where at least he was able to gain tone (three duels); He later played two more at the Foro Italico, but his left foot triggered the alarm just two weeks after Roland Garros. Despite everything, Nadal managed to overcome and win. Once again, the Spaniard – four games in 2023, three defeats and a single victory – faces the most difficult yet, given that time is running out and circumstances should change significantly so as not to think that he will have to make an incursion into the desperate in the major Gallic: jumping without a net, all or nothing; as long as I can compete, because today the scenario is completely uncertain. Once again, his career takes place in the form of thriller.

“The injury still hasn’t healed and I can’t work what I need to compete. I was training, but a few days ago we decided to change course a bit, do another treatment and see if things improve to try to get to what comes next. I can’t give deadlines because if I knew I would tell you, but I don’t know. This is the current situation, ”said the tennis player in his statement, without deviating one iota from the script that he has followed by heart throughout his entire career; “The only thing left for me to do is try to have the right attitude throughout this time, try to give myself the opportunity to compete in one of the tournaments that remains of the clay season and there is no other choice but to work and be with the right mentality”.

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