Nadal rests with doubts to prepare the clay campaign

20 March 2022, US, Indian Wells: Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal holds the runner-up trophy after the Men's Singles Final Tennis match against USA's Taylor Fritz during the Indian Wells Masters tennis tournament at Indian Wells Tennis Garden.  Photo: Charles Baus/CSM via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa Charles Baus/CSM via ZUMA Press / DPA 03/20/2022 ONLY FOR USE IN SPAIN

The 1,000 Indian Wells Masters, which had been fantastic for Rafa Nadal, had a bitter climax in the final against Taylor Fritz that the Spanish lost 6-3 and 7-6 (5) with physical problems that prevented him from performing at 100%. The American, who had been in doubt before the match due to a sprained right ankle suffered in the semifinals against Rublev, deprived him of matching Novak Djokovic’s 37 titles in the category and ended the best start to the season of his career, which was stopped at 20 wins in a row.

But the worst was the trace of concern with which the Balearic ended due to chest discomfort that already affected him in the historic duel last Saturday against Carlos Alcaraz. “I didn’t have time to check what was happening to me before the final. It was hard for me to breathe. Doing so hurts and is very uncomfortable. I felt pain. I don’t know yet if it’s something in the ribs. When I breathe, when I move, it’s like I have a needle in here all the time. I get a little dizzy because it is painful and it limits me a lot”, explained Nadal, who “more than sad for the defeat”, something that he accepted “immediately” is “suffering a little”.

His idea, before this happened to him, was not to play in Miami, rest a few days and prepare for the clay court season that for him, if he recovers in time, will start in Monte Carlo (April 10 to 17). I could reach that appointment as number three in the worldposition to which he has risen this week, if the alexander zverev he does not recover it before, closer each time to the head of the ranking that he leads again Novak Djokovicwhich relegates Daniil Medvedev. In the Monegasque Masters 1,000 he would coincide with both.

But what Nadal really cares about is his current situation: “I need to know what is happening to me, what I have to do now to recover and how long it will take me”. On Monday he woke up early still in Indian Wells, before traveling to Manacor, where he will undergo tests. Although he has stated that this year he wants to “play more” because he has not been able to do so during the last courses, his plans could change. In principle, he has not given up any of the tournaments he usually plays on clay: Monte Carlo, Barcelona, ​​Madrid and Rome before Roland Garros (May 22 to June 5). His career in 2022 is brilliant with those 20 wins, the titles in Melbourne, the Australian Open and Acapulco, and the runner-up in the BNP Paribas Open. And it always comes back.

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