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Rafael Nadal addresses Monte Carlo comeback claims in latest injury update



Rafael Nadal has addressed claims that his comeback from injury could be imminent. The world No 13 poured cold water over suggestions that he would return in Monte Carlo despite the tournament appearing to confirm his participation.

Nadal has been sidelined since January, when he injured his leg during his Australian Open second-round loss. The 36-year-old has played just four matches this season and seen his 18-year streak inside the world’s top 10 come to an end as a result of his latest setback.

His long-awaited comeback appeared to be confirmed last week when the Monte Carlo Masters tweeted out to announce Nadal’s participation after their ticket list originally contained an asterisk by his name. “We’re eager to welcome the legend @RafaelNadal,” the tournament account wrote on Thursday.

But the 22-time Major champion has now slammed rumours that his return was set in stone, claiming that he still didn’t know whether he’d be ready in time for the tournament’s main draw start date of April 9. “I don’t know who gets this information, but obviously if it were true I would confirm it, but unfortunately I can’t confirm it,” Nadal said at an event for his foundation in Palma.

His comments also come after retired pro and Barcelona Open tournament director David Ferrer claimed Nadal had upped his training regime. While the world No 13 said he had increased his workload in practice sessions, he was adamant that his return remained an unknown.

The former world No 1 continued: “I’m following my course and I don’t know when I’ll play again, that’s the truth. I’m in a phase of increasing work. If I knew when I was going to return, I would say so, but I don’t know.”

And Nadal even doubled-down on his update, making it clear that his participation in Monte Carlo was not confirmed. “I cannot confirm that I will play in Monte Carlo, things are seen day by day. I prefer to say things when I really know them,” he later added.

The Monte Carlo Masters tournament director had previously revealed that the event’s 11-time champion had raced to put his name on the entry list with the hope that he would be ready in time. “Rafa was the first registered player. He really wants to play in the Monte Carlo Masters and is giving himself every opportunity to participate in the tournament that he likes so much,” David Massey recently said in a statement.

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