Nadal drops comeback hint as video footage emerges of tennis regime

Rafael Nadal has hinted that he could finally return to the tour soon after sharing footage of his latest practice session. The world No 9 played just four matches this year before getting injured during his Australian Open second-round defeat. Nadal recently claimed he didn’t know when he’d be able to plot a comeback but appears to be on track for a return as he filmed himself hitting on a tennis court again.

Nadal had barely started his season when he suffered a new setback in Australia, injuring his leg. The 36-year-old has since been forced to pull out of the Dubai Championships, Indian Wells and the Miami Open as a result and cast doubt on when he would return to competition.

But the Spaniard has now shared a hint that he could be on track to make his comeback during the clay season as originally hoped, as he shared a new video of his training regime. Nadal had previously been spotted practising at his Rafa Nadal Academy but had not shared any updates himself until Saturday.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion posted a video of himself rallying on a clay court to both his Instagram story and main profile. “Yes,” Nadal wrote in the caption, adding a bicep emoji as he documented the first traces of a planned comeback.

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It comes less than two weeks after Nadal said he had no planned return date while attending Real Madrid’s Copa del Rey semi-final first leg defeat to Barcelona. “I do not know yet. I had a major breakdown in Australia and I don’t have a return date. It is taking me time and a lot of work to recover,” Nadal told Spanish media.

The world No 9 also said he had slowly doing as much as he could to build back up, and appears to be upping his workload if his practice footage is anything to go by. He added: “I am doing weekly check-ups. We will have to see how I evolve, but I’m not here today, we’ll see.

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“I am recovering. I do as much work as I can every day to recover as well as possible. I go day by day. I don’t know when I’ll be back, when I’m fine. And then we will have to have a little patience.”

If Nadal is to return on the clay, the most obvious choice would be the Monte Carlo Masters which begins on April 8. And Barcelona Open tournament director and retired Spanish pro David Ferrer has already hinted that Nadal will play the event this year which takes place the week after Monte Carlo, indicating the world No 9 will return at either tournament.

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