Rafael Nadal accused of lying and being up to old habits ahead of French Open

Rafael Nadal accused of lying and being up to old habits ahead of French Open

Rafael Nadal has been accused of lying by 2003 US Open champion Andy Roddick after insisting he is unsure about whether he will be able to play at the French Open this year. The Spaniard, who has won the Roland Garros tournament a record 14 times, has suffered with injury issues in recent years but made it through four matches at the Madrid Open last month.

“At the beginning of the tournament [in Madrid] he said, ‘If I feel the way that I feel physically right now with confidence, not knowing what I have, I don’t know if I’ll play Roland Garros,’” the former star explained on the Served with Andy Roddick podcast as he spoke about Nadal.

“I tend to not believe that. I think he’s the master of underpromising and overdelivering. During his prime, he’d be going into like the first round of Roland Garros against someone ranked like 70 in the world and be like, ‘I don’t know, it could go either way.’

“I used to not really believe that. I honestly think he just works from a place of, ‘This could go wrong, I’m going to hustle my way to make it not so and give my best effort.’”

Nadal missed every tournament in 2023 after the Australian Open due to a hip problem but returned to action at the Brisbane International at the start of this year . He was subsequently forced to pull out of January’s Australian Open because of a “micro tear” in his hip and then spent three months on the sidelines.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion went on to play two matches at the Barcelona Open last month before his run in Madrid, where he defeated Darwin Blanch, Alex de Minaur and Pedro Cachin, before being dispatched by Jiri Lehecka in the last 16.

Ahead of his appearance in Madrid, Nadal said: “If I arrive in Paris like I feel today, I would not go on court. I will not play. I will play Roland Garros if I feel competitive. If I can play, I play. If I can’t play, I can’t.”

And after being knocked out of the tournament he insisted he would need to assess his fitness after the Italian Open before making a decision about the French Open as he explained: “I don’t know what can happen, but now I have four games in Madrid behind me. This is the reality. Today I was more muscularly tired, yes, but it is nothing serious.

“If my body can handle it well. I know what can happen and, although it is difficult to imagine great things today, I stand by what I said the other day – in sports things change quickly and I am doing things in the most prudent way I can. I know how to do it better. About Paris, after Rome I will say. I understand your urgency and I would also like to have a clear vision of what is going to happen, but since I don’t have it today, I can’t tell you more. I hope to be able to play in Rome if there are no setbacks and I’m going there with the hope of continuing to evolve.”

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