Rafael Nadal believes he is on track to be fully fit and ready to play at the French Open next month.
The 21-time Grand Slam champion confirmed earlier this week that he will return to action at the Madrid Open which starts on May 1.
The 35-year-old has not played since he suffered breathing issues during his Indian Wells final defeat to Taylor Fritz in March and revealed afterwards he had a stress fracture in one of his ribs.
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But Nadal, who is a five-time champion in Madrid, will take part in the Masters tournament and could face highly-rated compatriot Carlos Alcaraz in the quarter-finals.
He believes he will be ready to take part in the French Open next month as he bids to win the Grand Slam for a record-extending 14th time.
"I have three weeks," he said as an honorary guest inside the Bernabeu Stadium ahead of Real Madrid's La Liga title-clinching match against Espanyol on Saturday.
"So I trust that the daily training will help me to get ready.
"Here the demand [in high altitude in Madrid] is maximum, but what can be done is going to be done.
“The most important thing is to be healthy, but I think that going to Paris I'm on time. Three weeks are enough to get competitive”
Nadal says his rib injury has been "very disabling" which has meant it has been a struggle to even train for the Madrid Open.
“I have trained very little, because the rib is very disabling and also very painful," he said.
"I had two very bad weeks and afterwards it has been very, very disabling.
"I haven't been able to do practically anything, but it's here, at home, in Madrid."
Alcaraz and world No.1 Novak Djokovic are also part of a stacked men's draw for the Madrid Open with the final on May 8. Nadal has a first-round bye.
The French Open will run from May 22-June 5 this year.
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11/08/2022 AT 12:31