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By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Rafael Nadal is targeting a Monte-Carlo return.

The 37-year-old Nadal, who withdrew from this week's BNP Paribas Open, is on the entry list for next month's Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters.

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The former world No. 1 joins, 24-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic, Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner, Wimbledon winner Carlos Alcaraz and reigning Monte-Carlo champion Andrey Rublev, among other stars, on the entry list.

The owner of a record 11 Monte-Carlo crowns, Nadal pulled out of Indian Wells saying he's "not ready to play at the highest level."

The king of clay, who is not playing next week's Miami Open, has three weeks of rest, recovery and practice time ahead of Monte-Carlo, which is set for April 6-14th.

At a press conference today, Monte-Carlo tournament director David Massey said he's optimistic Nadal will launch his return at the Monte-Carlo Country Club.

"He was feeling some discomfort [following his Netflix Slam exhibition against Alcaraz in Las Vegas] so he was scared and preferred not to play in Indian Wells, but the tests he took didn't show anything," Massey said in comments published by French publication L'Equipe.

The tournament director said he saw Nadal practice in Indian Wells and was impressed.

"You never know what he's going to do, but I saw him training with his coaches on a private court at [Indian Wells owner] Larry Ellison's and I felt like I was hearing a wild animal...hits like never before," Massey said. "Even if he hasn't played matches, he has the ability to come back and play his best tennis."

Photo credit: Getty