ATP

Nadal to miss four to six weeks with rib injury

By Sports Desk March 22, 2022

Rafael Nadal has been ruled out of action for up to six weeks with a cracked rib suffered during last week's Indian Wells Masters.

The Australian Open champion sustained the injury in his semi-final win against Carlos Alcaraz and visibly struggled to breath during his defeat to Taylor Fritz in the final.

Nadal told reporters that he was "all good" when returning to Spain on Tuesday, but it has now been revealed he has a stress fracture in the third left costal arch.

The timeframe for the Spaniard's recovery is between four and six weeks, which could have a major impact on his preparations for the 2022 French Open.

The second grand slam of the year is scheduled to begin at Roland-Garros on May 22 – around eight weeks' time.

Nadal had won each of his opening 20 matches this calendar year, a run that took him to his second title at Melbourne Park, prior to tasting a shock defeat against Fritz.

And the record 21-time major winner, who endured an injury-plagued 2021, is now facing a battle to be back at peak fitness in time for the French Open.

Providing an update on his personal Twitter page on Tuesday, Nadal posted: "As it turns out, I have a stress crack in one of my ribs and will be out for 4-6 weeks. 

"This is not good news and I did not expect this. I am sunk and sad because after the start of the season I have had such a good time.

"I reached a very important part of the year with very good feelings and good results. 

"But hey, I've always had that fighting and overcoming spirit and what I will do is be patient and work hard after my recovery. Once again thank everyone for the support."

Nadal has won the French Open a record 13 times, with his most recent success in Paris coming in 2020.

He was beaten by eventual champion Novak Djokovic in last year's semi-finals – only his third defeat in 108 matches in the event.

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