Rafael Nadal French Open decision revealed as tournament boss also confirms ‘we’ll follow his wishes’

Rafael Nadal French Open decision revealed as tournament boss also confirms ‘we’ll follow his wishes’

Rafael Nadal is unlikely to be unseeded at this year’s French Open after tournament director Amelie Mauresmo confirmed that the topic is not up for discussion while she also addressed talk about a possible tribute to the tennis great.

It remains to be seen if Nadal will compete at the clay-court Grand Slam this year as he admitted earlier in the week that he is still not feeling competitive following his recent injury woes.

“If I arrive in Paris the way I feel today, I will not play,” he stated. “I will play Roland Garros if I feel competitive. If I can play, I play. If I can’t play, I can’t. It won’t be the end of the world or the end of my career. I still have goals after Roland Garros, like the Olympics.”

However, that statement was made before he won his opening match at the Madrid Open on Thursday with the 14-time Grand Slam winner defeating wildcard Darwin Blanch 6-1, 6-0 to get his campaign underway.

The Madrid Open and Italian Open will be used to test his fitness levels ahead of Roland Garros, which gets underway on May 26.

After missing the 2023 edition due to a hip flexor injury, this year’s French Open looks set to be Nadal’s last and Mauresmo has all but confirmed that he will be unseeded for the tournament.

The Spaniard currently finds himself at No 512 in the ATP Rankings following his prolonged absence and there had been suggestions that Roland Garros officials could change their seedings rule and hand Nadal a special seeding given his stature, but that won’t be the case.

“Right now it’s not a topic…,” she said. “Wimbledon did it for a very, very, very long time, and it certainly brought some advantages but we also saw all the disadvantages it could bring. For the moment, it’s not on the table.”

READ MORE: Rafael Nadal makes emotional confession after convincing Madrid Open victory

If Nadal is unseeded, then he could draw any of the big guns – including defending champion Novak Djokovic, world No 2 Jannik Sinner and two-time Grand Slam winner Carlos Alcaraz in the first round.

As for whether or not there will be a big farewell for Nadal, former world No 1 Mauresmo added: “We’re keeping our fingers crossed for him above all, for us too obviously. We’re keeping a close eye on what’s happening for him on court. We’re in touch with his team. Whether there’s a tribute depends very much on him. We’ll follow his wishes.”

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