Rafael Nadal will make his return to the ATP Tour in his home nation to play the Mutua Madrid Open, it was confirmed Monday by the 36-time ATP Masters 1000 champion and the Madrid event. Nadal is a five-time champion in Madrid, most recently in 2017, and will be competing at the event for a 19th time.
“Despite having a short preparation and facing a difficult event, I can’t wait to play at home, where we don’t have many chances to do so,” Nadal said in a Tweet, confirming his participation in the year’s fourth ATP Masters 1000 events. “I’ll try to do my best. See you in Madrid!”
Nadal had been sidelined since Indian Wells with a rib stress fracture that he sustained against Alcaraz in the semi-finals, though he fought through the injury to take the court against Taylor Fritz in the final. He announced on 22 March that he would be out for four to six weeks, and his Madrid return puts him right on schedule.
Despite his inactivity, Nadal comfortably leads to ATP Race To Turin behind his 20-1 start to the season. He enjoyed a career-best start to the season with a 20-match win streak, claiming titles at Melbourne, the Australian Open and Acapulco before his Indian Wells final run.
The Spaniard holds a 54-13 record at the Madrid event, which switched from hard court to clay in 2009. Nadal made his debut at age 16 in 2003 and won his first title in ’05. In the 2021 tournament, he met Carlos Alcaraz for the first time and scored a dominant win on the way to the quarter-finals.
The Mutua Madrid Open will be held from 1-8 May at the Caja Magica.
Rafa is coming!
We’re delighted to welcome back our five-time Mutua Madrid Open champion 🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
— #MMOPEN (@MutuaMadridOpen) April 26, 2022