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Watch: Rafael Nadal back on practice court as Spaniard eyes return from abdominal injury in Canadian Open

Rafael Nadal is back! After spending more than a fortnight recovering from the abdominal injury he incurred during Wimbledon 2022, Nadal returned to court on Monday as the Spaniard looks to make his return to the ATP tour early next month. Nadal is slated to make his first appearance at the Canadian Open which begins from August 5 onwards in Montreal at the IGA Stadium.

Nadal had incurred the injury during the Wimbledon campaign where he successfully made their third consecutive semi-final appearance. But the 36-year-old had aggravated the injury, resulting in a reported 7 millimetre tear, during the nail-biting five-setter tie in the quarterfinals. Nadal was forced to withdraw ahead of his semi-final match, hence ending his bid for a third title at the SW19, 23rd major and a shot at the Calendar Year Grand Slam.

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Nadal returned to his country for treatment following the withdrawal, but is now resumed practice with the aim of making an ATP return. On Monday, Nadal was spotted on court having his very first practice session.

“Nadal really wants to come to Montreal and his hotel rooms are already booked,” tournament director of Canadian Open, Eugene Lapierre had said last week. “He was sent a crate of balls to use during the tournament to prepare. He should return to training on Monday.”

The Spaniard has lifted the Canadian Open trophy five times in his illustrious career and will now aim to equal the legendary Ivan Lendl for the most titles at the tournament.

Meanwhile, Lapierre has also confirmed that Novak Djokovic is unlikely to get any exemption for participation owing to his vaccination status.

“We will have a great tournament,” he announced. “All the best players will be there except for two and we know the reasons for their absence. Either the Canadian government is going to change the rules regarding vaccination or he is going to roll up his sleeves and get the vaccine. But I don’t think any of those scenarios are realistic.”

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