Rafael Nadal is expected to be timing his comeback to coincide with the start of the Monte-Carlo Masters 1000 event in Monaco.
The event serves as the curtain-raiser for the European clay-court stretch of the season. Monte-Carlo tournament director David Massey is confident that Spaniard will play, and has revealed that Rafa and his team have already registered him to play at the event, in the hope that he will be fit in time to compete.
Nadal is currently back on the practice court as he continues his rehabilitation from a hip injury that ended his Australian Open campaign in just the second round. With the tournament starting on 8th April, it would appear that the 22-time Grand Slam champion's recovery is going well.
Nadal has won the tournament in Monte Carlo as astonishing 11 times, with an Open era record of 8 consecutive titles there between 2005 and 2012. As well as being a very happy hunting ground for prestigious Masters titles for the Spaniard, it also serves as a crucial part of his preparations for Roland Garros and the rest of the clay-court swing.
Rafa was the first (player) to be registered. 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.
Nadal's lead-up to the French Open is as crucial as his fitness. Having barely played tennis so far this season, and starting this year off the back of an alarming run of poor results to finish the last, it is crucial to his Roland Garros chances that gets substantial match time under his belt before the start of the year's second Grand Slam.
Nadal will be aiming for his scarcely believable 15th French Open this spring, which would take him one clear of Djokovic in the Grand Slam title race.