Nadal aims for claycourt comeback

07 March 2018 09:16:07 EST

Rafael Nadal hopes to be back in action in time for the European claycourt season, having recently suffered a setback in his plans to return to action after a hip problem.

The 31-year-old had hoped to be back on court at the recent Mexican Open, only for a recurrence of a hip injury sustained at the Australian Open to prevent him from doing so.

Nadal has already confirmed that he will be absent for the high-profile hardcourt events in Indian Wells and Miami, with his long-term doctor Angel Ruiz-Cotorro cautiously optimistic that his client will be okay for his favoured clay.

He told El Pais: "It's in a muscle and not in a tendon, which would have been much worse.

"We need to be optimistic because we have always been so, but also realistic and now, seeing what happened, we have to be as cautious as possible.

"We hope that he will recover for the clay-court season, that is the goal.

"He should rest for two or three weeks, then have a progressive recovery, but it always depends on how everything works. You have to monitor the injury closely, so we will go week-by-week, not rushing."

Nadal has an unmatched record of success on clay, which includes ten French Open titles. He also claimed ten victories at the Monte Carlo Masters, seven at the Rome Masters and five at the Madrid Open.

The Spanish left-hander is currently 4/5 to win an 11th Paris title later this year, with Novak Djokovic priced at 9/2 and Dominic Thiem 6/1.

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