Rafael Nadal Has Already Begun Training For The French Open; His 2013 Clay Season Schedule
by Tom Gainey | March 26th, 2013, 9:57 am

While rivals Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray prepare for fourth round matches today at the Miami Sony Open, and while Roger Federer enjoys some downtime as a father, Rafael Nadal is already back at work training with an eye on a record 8th French Open title.

“Back to the practice on the clay court. A nice day!” Nadal posted on his facebook page yesterday.

Nadal training

Since returning from his knee injury in early February, Nadal is 17-1 with a tour-leading three titles after his big win at Indian Wells last weekend. Rafa will take a 14 match win-streak into Monte Carlo where he’ll bid for a 9th title starting on April 14.

Because Nadal has so many points to defend from last year, it’s unlikely he’ll move higher than No. 4 in the French Open seedings.

Here’s Rafa’s clay season schedule:
April 1 – Off
APril 8 – Off
April 14 – Monte Carlo
April 21 – Barcelona
April 29 – Off
May 5 – Madrid
May 12 – Rome
May 20 – Off
May 26 – French Open

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34 Comments for Rafael Nadal Has Already Begun Training For The French Open; His 2013 Clay Season Schedule

Steve 27 Says:

Nadal to chase his RG8.

nadalista Says:

Vamos Rafa!!!!!!


queen Says:

Vamos Champ!

RZ Says:

He’s actually playing Madrid? I guess the don’t have blue clay this year. :-)

Will be interesting to see if Nole will challenge Rafa on the clay this year.

rafaeli Says:

The King of Clay did the right thing by skipping Miami. Rafa has proved that he is a master on any surface at any time when he is fit, but playing Miami wouldn’t have improved his preparations for the clay season and he was wise not to overdo it after his comeback.

Rafa being such a considerate person decided to give others a chance to win Miami in his absence.

jane Says:

Has Nadal played long enough, or enough matches, that he can opt out of tournaments like Miami or would he have taken a penalty to miss it? Or did he miss it because he’s injured?

Giles Says:

Vamos King!

Giles Says:

“The great Nadal”. I like it!!

van orten Says:

looking not good for rafa!!! those damn knees could prevent him from winning rg8…a shame

rogerafa Says:

Rafa has won RG seven times with those very damn knees which have ALWAYS been injured. Rafa has NEVER been fit. His varying levels of unfitness are a source of great intrigue and drama. Kudos to him and his team including his PR men for their mastery of this genre. This never-ending soap opera has millions of people hooked and has created an entire ecosystem which is quite unique. That, considering no major surgical intervention that Rafa has had so far, is an achievement in itself. The rest of the field is very fortunate that Rafa was born injured and tired. If he were to ever attain an unfitness level of even 10%, he would be invincible.

Vamos Rafa!

Sirius Says:


Ben Pronin Says:

If Nadal was never injured he’d have 25 slams and 35 masters at LEAST!

Wog boy Says:

Conspiracy theories;)

The Great Davy Says:

If I was never choking, I’d have 30 slams by now.

Because I am The Great one in the era of clowns like Nadal.

jane Says:

My question at 11:47 was serious – can Rafa just opt out of a Masters and go practice? I thought players are required to play Masters, unless Rafa has played long enough to opt out (like Fed) or unless he’s paying a fine for missing. But I don’t see how he can claim injury for withdrawing and then post pictures of himself practicing. Does anyone know what the deal is? Thanks.

Gris Says:

Rafa u are an example of perseverance and thanks for inspiring positive attitudes an actions in this so damaged and perverted world

Michael Says:

With the way Rafa is playing I think his 8th crown at Rolland Garros is a mere formality. I do not think any player poses a serious threat to him. May be Novak if he plays his best Tennis !? But it is a big IF ?? Rafa might in all probability repeat his extraordinary feat of dominating the Clay season for the Nth time in his career. He is way too superior on Clay and much ahead of competition.

ananthd Says:

@Jane 8:47 pm, yes Rafa can take one Masters without citing injury, since he’s played 600+ matches as well as 12 years on tour…

jane Says:

^ Thanks anathd. That’s what I was wondering.

jane Says:

sorry, ananthd… forgot one “n”

D Orren Says:

Well to all those who are asking or wondering: Rafa has 600 match wins to his credit so that allows him to skip a Masters event without penalty just like Federer as they are the only two active players with that privilege at the moment. Rafa usually plays all the Masters anyway. I think he should do well on the clay!

salah nasir Says:

Rafa has avoided joining miami to give rest to his knee as he put load after he came back and naturally
he should prepare for clay season as he should defend alot of points … goodluck rafa keep enjoying us

salah nasir Says:

good luck Rafa keep enjoying us

alison Says:

I dont know what will happen to Rafa when he plays on clay,i just hope he can continue to play that positive attacking tennis that he has lately going for his shots more.

Brando Says:

What a picturesque sight that is.

A clear blue sky, radiant sunshine, red clay underneath the feet of the master of the surface.

Just beautiful.

Just do your thing Rafa!

Giles Says:

@D Orren. I am aware that Rafa is entitled to skip one Masters without penalty. Surely in view of his doctor’s orders to skip Miami this withdrawal can be put down to injury or something similar? If so. he can save his entitlement to withdraw from one Masters for some future date. What do you think?

ananthd Says:

ATP Rulebook cites:
1) 600+ matches
2) 12 years on tour
3) 31+ years old

You can miss one MS event for each of the conditions you meet in the above list

If you satisfy all 3, you can miss EVERY MS event without penalty…..

So Rafa can miss 2 MS events without penalty(since he meets two of them), Roger can choose to take off every one of them if he so desires….

Novak also can take an MS off since he’s played 600+ matches….

I suspect that day is not far off….

Giles Says:

@ananthd. See my post to @D Orren. Can you answer my question re: the medical aspect ?

Giles Says:

Does anybody know how many career match wins Djoker has?

Sam Says:

Vamos for a 9th Monte Carlo & Vamos for a an 8th RG
Will be up in Aus all hours catching every game….

gooden Says:

nadal you are the best. you are an inspiration. thanks

Amaresh Says:


Correction !!! U ve given a statistics wrong. The rule says u should ve won 600 matches under ur belt to skip masters. Not just play 600 matches. It bout the number of matches won. Correct it next time!! So only Rafa and Roger come under tat category. Nole is yet to reach 600 wins. He is long way back!!

ArlineO Says:

Rafa is the BEST! VAMOS, RAFA!!

Rose Says:

It was a glorious day when Rafa returned to the competitive courts. The excitement for me is back and I pray that his injured knee will not be much of a problem, if any. Then again, he has been winning with one good knee for years. Lordy, Lordy, if only he had two good knees. Anyway, that’s not fair because the others need encouragement with a win every now and again. Love you Rafa, and welcome back !!!!!

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