Despite losing the 2022 Indian Wells final against Taylor Fritz, who became the first American player (male or female) to win the tournament since 2001, Rafael Nadal’s start of the season has been one for the history books. However, the Spaniard is going to take some time off and he will not compete at the 2022 Miami Open

Until Sunday’s match, Nadal was unbeaten this year, with 20 consecutive victories and three titles in a row: Melbourne, the Australian Open and the Mexican Open. It’s one of the biggest streaks at the start of the season, and curiously, almost identical to what Roger Federer did in 2017. 

Both players started the season at 35 years old after six months out of the tour, and both of them won three titles (Federer won the Australian Open, Indian Wells and Miami) with a record of 20-1. However, the Swiss had a 17-match unbeaten streak, as he lost his only match at the Dubai Championship after the Australian Open.

Rafael Nadal will be out for 4-6 weeks 

Nadal, 35, is still dealing with his foot injury, as he suffers from a degenerative disease called Muller-Weiss syndrome, which generates dysplasia of the scaphoid (one of the foot bones). He’s been dealing with this since 2005, meaning he practically always has pain in his foot. However, sometimes it gets worse, as it did last year and that’s why he missed the second half of the season. 

Nevertheless, Nadal explained that he wanted to take some time to rest before the clay part of the season. While his decision was taken before the start of Indian Wells, during this week, the Spaniard said after the final against Fritz that he's been having trouble breathing and he confirmed on Tuesday that he had a stress rib fracture. 

"I have trouble breathing. I don't know if it's something in the rib or what it is. When I breathe, when I move, it's like a needle inside all the time. Iget a little dizzy because it's painful, it limits me a lot, it affects me. More than sad for the defeat, something that I accepted immediately even before finishing the final, I am suffering more because of this issue,” Nadal said during a press conference after the final according to ESPN. 

On Tuesday, he shared his diagnosis on Twitter. “At the end it turns out I have a rib stress fracture and I will be out between 4 and six weeks. There isn’t good news and I didn’t expect this. I’m sad, after the great beginning of the season (I had),” he wrote. This means Nadal misses the two first tournaments on clay, Monaco and Barcelona, and he probably could play in Madrid.