• Rafa Nadal last played at Indian Wells ATP event
  • He lost the Indian Wells final to Taylor Fritz
  • The loss ended Nadal's 20-match unbeaten streak

Rafael Nadal has decided to skip ATP 500 Barcelona Open as he is still recovering from an injury.

Earlier this year, Nadal suffered a stress fracture in the ribs and was ruled out for six months. He picked up the injury during ATP 1000 event in Indian Wells, where he lost the final to local hero Taylor Fritz. The loss also had ended Nadal’s incredible winning streak that spanned 20 matches.

An official statement from Nadal’s team has stated that the 21-time Grand Slam champion’s return date is not certain as of now. He started off 2022 on a positive note, winning his opening three tournaments: Melbourne Summer Set, Australian Open, and Mexican Open.

"Rafa has just been withdrawn from the entry list in Barcelona. We don't know yet when he will be at his first tournament on clay this year. Hopefully, soon,” the team said in a statement sent to Reuters.

The Spaniard complained of a chest issue during the Indian Wells event in California last month. He underwent a few tests that eventually revealed "a stress fracture of the third left costal arch."

After receiving the injury news, Nadal had expressed disappointment. "This is not good news and I did not expect this. I am devastated and sad because, after the good start of the season that I have had, I reached a very important part of the year with very good feelings and good results. But hey, I've always had that fighting and overcoming spirit, and what I will do is be patient and work hard after my recovery. Once again, I would like to thank everyone for their support," Nadal said in an interview, according to

In the lead-up to the Roland Garros, Nadal has always been a regular competitor at Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome, among other clay-court ATP tournaments. First Nadal withdrew from Monte Carlo and now Barcelona -- it is certainly not the desired start to the clay season for the 13-time French Open winner.

Spain's Rafael Nadal battles past American Reilly Opelka in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells
Spain's Rafael Nadal battles past American Reilly Opelka in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells AFP / Frederic J. BROWN

Madrid and Rome host ATP Masters 1000 events next month and Nadal would be hoping to participate to get sufficient match practice on clay courts ahead of the French Open, which is scheduled to be played in Paris from May 22 to June 5.