Rafael Nadal unsure about French Open in latest fitness bombshell: ‘Not going to play in Paris if…’

Rafael Nadal unsure about French Open in latest fitness bombshell: ‘Not going to play in Paris if…’

Spain’s tennis legend Rafael Nadal cast fresh doubts over his participation in the French Open on Wednesday, stating he could potentially skip the tournament if he continued to feel the same way he does ahead of his Madrid Open opener. Nadal is scheduled to take on USA’s Darwin Blanch in the first round of the Madrid Open later on Thursday.

Rafael Nadal said today he will only play at the upcoming French Open if he feels “capable enough to compete well”(AFP)

“The sensations haven’t been perfect this week. If it wasn’t Madrid, maybe I wouldn’t play. But there are a lot of emotions involved,” Nadal said.

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“I don’t know what’s going to happen in the following three weeks. I’ll keep fighting and doing the things that I think I need to do to play in Paris. And if it’s possible, then it’s possible. If not, then not. I’m not going to play in Paris the way I’m feeling today. If it was Paris, I wouldn’t be playing.”

Nadal has already stated that this is likely his final year on the tour and is aiming to be competitive one last time at Roland Garros, where he has won the title a record 14 times. The 22-time Grand Slam champion has also enjoyed considerable success in Madrid, securing a record five titles in the Spanish capital, with his most recent victory dating back to 2017.

“Hopefully I can play without many limitations,” Nadal said. “Then we’ll see what happens. If I play without limitations, even if I lose, then it will be positive.”

Nadal, who had hip surgery last summer, lost to Alex de Minaur in the second round in Barcelona in what was his first tournament in more than three months.

“The goal is be on court. Enjoy as long as possible,” he said. “I mean, that’s the thing. Try to finish the tournament alive in terms of body issues, and enjoy the fact that I will be able to compete one more time in the professional tour and here at home in Madrid, a place that give me everything, no, in terms of support.”

He said he is giving himself “a chance” and hopes to “find better feelings” in his body going forward.

“I don’t lose hope. I just accept the situation that I have today,” Nadal said. “I mean, I am not playing bad. It’s about more body limitations. … That’s not allowed me to compete the way that I would like to compete.”

(With inputs from AP)

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