Rafael Nadal targeting Monte Carlo Masters as his first event back from injury, says tournament director

Rafael Nadal is targeting a return to tennis at the Monte Carlo Masters, according to the tournament director of the event.

Nadal has not played since losing in the second round of the Australian Open to Mackenzie McDonald, where he picked up a hip injury.

He will drop out of the top 10 in the ATP rankings for the first time this month, but could be back in action on April 8 in Monte Carlo, as the clay-court season gets going.

“Rafa was the first [player] to be registered,” said David Massey, leading the organisation of the Masters 1000 event.

“He really wants to play at the Monte Carlo Masters and is giving himself every chance to take part in the tournament he’s so fond of.”

The 36-year-old returned to training last week as he posted a video on social media on the clay with a caption which simply said “yes”.

‘Nadal will always be my biggest rival, not Alcaraz’ – Djokovic

Nadal has won the Monte Carlo Masters a record 11 times in his career and will be bidding to win a 23rd Grand Slam title at the French Open which gets underway on May 28.

Speaking with Dominic Thiem, the Norwegian said: “I don’t know, I still feel like if Dominic or I shouldn’t root for ourselves, I think we both can say that we wouldn’t be surprised if Rafa came up with some ridiculous level once again.

“It wouldn’t surprise me because he will probably use these weeks and these months as he is preparing for exactly, you know, Roland-Garros.

“You know, it doesn’t matter if he loses in Monte Carlo or if he loses in Rome or Madrid. The only thing that is probably on his mind these days is just to be fit, be healthy and be ready for Roland-Garros.”

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