Rafael Nadal return date confirmed as Monte Carlo stick with player list – Federer missing

Rafael Nadal pulled out of this week’s Miami Open after suffering a knee injury at Indian Wells earlier this month.

That Spaniard – who reached the Australian Open final back in January – has his eyes on the French Open.

In order to go for a 12th Roland Garros title he will aim to return for the clay leg of the 2019 ATP season.

Nadal has previously expressed his hope at being fit to return for Monte Carlo, which starts on April 13.

And tournament organisers have confirmed in their updated players list that the 17-time Grand Slam champion is expected in Monaco.

Novak Djokovic is also on the list but Roger Federer is not.

Roger Federer is expected to play more clay tournaments than usual this season and has an eye on a Ronald Garros return for the first time since 2015.

But he appears unlikely to take part in Monte Carlo.

As for Rafael Nadal, he will also face competition from youngsters Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem if indeed he is fit to play in Monaco next month.

Discussing his chances of making the tournament, Nadal said earlier in March that he is optimistic.

“It’s not only about today, it’s about what it means to pull out of a tournament that I love so much like this one, in the semi finals after playing well during the whole tournament.

“You can imagine that I can’t be happy. Sometimes it’s tough and it can be frustrating for me personally going through all this stuff.

“What I’m going to do is go back home and try do a smooth transition to clay. I’ll try to be at my 100 per-cent for the first event, which is going to be Monte Carlo for me.

“I know how it is and I know what I have to do. It’s still tough.

“I felt more or less okay during the beginning of the season in terms of my knee. Yesterday I felt this on court.

“Now is the process that I have to decide what direction we have to take to recover well and to recover as soon as possible.

“Being honest I don’t have doubts today that I will be ready for Monte Carlo.

“But at the same time, I need to check with my people what’s the best way to proceed now.

“It is a situation we were not expecting at this point so we need to adjust a little bit all of the calendar. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to play on the hard courts [ever again].”

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