Rafael Nadal injury news: Boris Becker says Spaniard was invincible until he injured himself

Boris Becker says Rafael Nadal's injury at the Miami Open made the Spaniard seem vulnerable in the eyes of his competitors,

Former tennis world number 1 Boris Becker believes the injury Rafael Nadal picked up at the Miami Open did more harm than just affecting his ability to win that tournament.

Nadal was on a 20-match unbeaten run when he picked up an injury at the Miami Open. He lost the final to America's Taylor Fritz in straight sets.

A few days after the shock result in the final, Nadal revealed that he was having difficulty breathing after sustaining a cracked rib, which would certainly explain his sudden dip in form in the last match.

Because of the injury, the Spaniard was ruled out for between a month a six weeks, which forced him to miss the Monto Carlo Masters and the Barcelona Open that begins 18 April.

Despite the obvious setback of losing out in the final to Fritz and the loss of preparation time for the French Open, Becker believes the incident may have an even bigger impact on Nadal.

Long-term injury

"Nadal was actually considered invincible until he injured himself in the semi-final against Alcaraz, who played for over three hours," Becker told Eurosport.

"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.

"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."

Discussing Roger Federer

Even though he has strong opinions about Nadal's future in the game, Becker refused to be drawn into the debate about Roger Federer.

"With Roger, I abstain from my opinion. As long as he thinks he wants to play, then let him. We are happy if he still does," he said.

"He has every right in the world to decide when he plays again. He's earned it, worked for it, and in this respect: as long as he still calls himself a tennis player, we have to recognise him as such."

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