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Grand slam legend Boris Becker: Rafael Nadal injury ‘a big setback’

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Boris Becker believes that the injury sustained by Rafael Nadal at Indian Wells last month is a ‘big setback’ to his chances of winning a record 14th French Open title this summer.

35-year-old Rafael Nadal has had his best ever start to a season this year, producing a 20-match winning streak that saw him clinch the Australian Open crown – a record 21st Grand Slam title. A fourth title in Acapulco in February and a run to the final at Indian Wells Masters last month followed.
However, his red hot start to the season was stopped in it’s tracks due to a severe rib injury which occurred in the Indian Wells Masters semi-final – forcing him onto the sidelines 4-6 weeks. It means Rafael Nadal is set to miss much of his beloved European clay court swing, including the Monte Carlo Masters and the Barcelona Open.

Discussing Rafael Nadal’s injury, three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker believes that the injury is a huge blow to the Spaniard’s chances of winning a 22nd Grand Slam title at the French Open in May.

Speaking to Eurosport, the German said, “Nadal was actually considered invincible until he injured himself in the semi-final against Alcaraz, who played for over three hours. Something must be wrong with his rib. I had that once too.

“It hurts a lot and it takes a long time until you can play properly again because you need it to breathe. And especially now for the clay court season, this is of course a big setback for him.

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“Until the injury, he was considered the favourite for Roland Garros and now he has to get healthy again and play his first matches on clay. And it is not yet clear when he will start again.

“He won’t play Monte Carlo. He also cancelled Barcelona, so Madrid at the earliest. Paris – that’s in three weeks. So good luck that the Spaniard will be healthy.”