“I trust Rafael Nadal will heed my advice and continue playing until 2025,” expressed Dominican No. 1 Nick Hardt.

Rafael Nadal was seen on the court named in his honor in Barcelona, engaging in practice at one of his cherished tournaments. Despite being a 12-time champion and a hometown favorite, Nadal’s participation in the Barcelona Open remains uncertain as he assesses his physical condition. Battling an abdominal injury in recent months, Nadal has been sidelined since the beginning of the season, missing events like the Australian Open and Indian Wells. His struggles with abdominal pain since February have prompted withdrawals from tournaments like Doha and Monte Carlo, delaying his return to competitive play.

During his practice session, Nadal focused on groundstrokes and other aspects of his game, refraining from serving. Despite his dissatisfaction with his current level of play, Nadal is taking his time to make a decision regarding his participation in the Barcelona Open, considering his limited match practice since early 2023. His priority is to compete injury-free at major events like Roland Garros and the Olympic Games, with hopes of returning to form by Madrid or Rome if he opts out of Barcelona.

Nadal has a storied history at the Barcelona Open, boasting an impressive record of 66 wins out of 70 matches and lifting the trophy 12 times. His dominance at the tournament began in 2005 with a victory over Juan Carlos Ferrero in the final, marking the start of a remarkable reign that saw him secure five consecutive titles by 2009. Despite skipping the event in 2010, Nadal returned in 2011 to claim three consecutive titles without dropping a set, reaffirming his status as the ultimate legend of the Barcelona Open.


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