Rafael Nadal is expected to make a swift return from his knee injury and the Spaniard will be next seen in action at the Monte Carlo Masters after his name was included in the list of players who will be competing in the tournament. The tournament organizers announced the line-up for the clay-court tournament in Paris on March 21.
The Monte-Carlo Masters is held in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, France, a commune that borders on Monaco. The event is part of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 on the Association of Tennis Professionals Tour. The 2019 edition of the annual tournament will be held from April 15 to April 21. Nadal is the most successful player in the history of the competition with 11 title triumphs and held a 46-match winning streak at Monte Carlo from 2005-13 — the most consecutive wins at a tournament by any man or woman.
At Monte Carlo, Nadal has the most consecutive title victories with 8 wins between 2005 to 2012. The Spaniard also holds the most number of final appearances with 12 and his only defeat in the title clash was against Novak Djokovic in 2013. Nadal has played the most number of matches in the tournament too, with 72 appearances and he has been victorious on 68 of those occasions.
Nadal had been feeling pain on his historically troubled right knee during the Indian Wells Masters quarterfinal clash against Karen Khachanov. He subsequently withdrew from the tournament ahead of his semifinal match against Roger Federer on March 16. The Swiss, though, did not manage to win his 101st title as he lost out to Dominic Thiem in the final.
Owing to the injury, Nadal skipped this week's hard-court tournament -- Miami Open and is now all set to begin his clay court campaign which will culminate in Paris at the Ronald Garros. The world number 2 will be eager to win his 12th title in the French capital and 18th grand slam when the French Open begins on May 26. The final will be held two weeks later on June 9.
Both Nadal and Federer have recently been displeased with Djokovic of late. The Serbian decided not to consult the two icons before deciding to controversially vote out the current ATP chairman Chris Kermode. But the world number 1 played down any talks of rift between him and the two players.
"I have not noticed anything from their side or from mine," Djokovic said. "It's not necessary for people to create any tensions or divisions between us. On the contrary, I have a good relationship with both of them. We always respected each other. We are rivals of course so it's hard to be friends. We need an open dialogue and for people to have different opinions. That's what a democratic society is. We all try and be part of that."