Nadal facing difficult decision over French Open involvement

Nadal facing difficult decision over French Open involvement

Rafael Nadal will do everything he can to play at the French Open this month, but he admits he has a decision to make on his involvement after crashing out of the Italian Open on Saturday.  

Nadal – a 10-time champion in Rome – suffered a resounding 6-1 6-3 defeat against Hubert Hurkacz on the clay, the Pole producing a polished performance to halt his run in the second round.  

The Spaniard has said he will likely call time on his glittering career at the end of the season, having been troubled by hip and abdominal injuries in recent years.

The 37-year-old was also beaten by Jiri Lehecka in the last 16 at the Madrid Open last month, and he acknowledges he is currently some way short of the level required to challenge for a record-extending 15th French Open title.

Speaking after Saturday’s defeat, Nadal said: “The time has come to make a decision, in case I might not play Roland-Garros. 

“One is to say, ‘okay, I am not ready, I am not playing well enough’.

“Another is to accept how I am today and work the proper way to try to be in a different way in two weeks. If I have to say which side I lean towards, it’s to try to play it and give my best.

“Physically I have some issues, but probably not enough to say no to playing in the most important event of my tennis career.”

The year’s second grand slam begins at Roland Garros on May 20, with the men’s singles final taking place on June 9. 

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