Rafael Nadal's French Open prep derailed as Spaniard yet to train on court amid rib injury

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Nadal started the season with a 20-match winning streak, picking up titles in Melbourne, Acapulco and the Australian Open, but picked up an injury in his most recent victory against Carlos Alcaraz in Indian Wells. After losing his next match to Taylor Fritz in the final, the Spaniard announced he would be out for four to six weeks with a stress fracture in his rib.

It meant he would miss the first few events on his most successful surface and, while there was some hope the world No 4 could make an early comeback in Barcelona next week, his team officially confirmed he would not be playing the ATP 500 event and it has now been disclosed that Nadal is yet to return to practising his tennis during his injury layoff, throwing a spanner in the works for his French Open hopes.

“He does the gym, but nothing that hurts him and therefore obviously not with the racket,” a person close to the Spaniard told AFP after the announcement of his withdrawal from Barcelona. “He is still suffering from his ribs and as expected when his injury was announced, he needs four to six weeks. We are at three, so logically he will not be able to play again in Barcelona.”

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