Rafael Nadal ‘hopes his body will allow’ to play in French Open

Rafael Nadal ‘hopes his body will allow’ to play in French Open

Rafa Nadal said on Wednesday (May 8) that he hopes his body will allow him to keep playing as he looks ahead to the French Open and Olympics this summer.

The 37-year-old Spaniard, who has said he expects to retire after the 2024 season, returned to competition in Brisbane in January after almost a year sidelined with a hip flexor injury.

He was then out for another stretch due to a thigh issue and returned in Barcelona last month.

Speaking in Rome ahead of his Italian Open match against Belgian qualifier Zizou Bergs, Nadal said he still enjoys playing tennis but has to manage his body carefully.

“I am happy doing what I am doing, when I’m talking about retirement it’s not because I am not happy any more playing tennis or not because I am not feeling myself competitive enough, that’s not the case, it’s about the body was not able to play weeks in a row, was not able to allow me to practice and enjoy the practices in a daily basis,” Nadal said, adding that a month ago he could not have believed it possible that he has returned to the court so quickly.

Nadal also spoke about the injury risks that top players face due to their workloads, with young stars Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner missing in Rome due to injury.

“If we want to talk about why people get injured I tell you very clear, when you push your body to the limit you get injured in the end, when the game is faster and faster and faster you get injured, when you play most of the year on hard courts where the surfaces are tougher for the body, you get injured. So that’s the simple answer.”

The 22-time Grand Slam singles champion enters the Italian Open unseeded and ranked 305 in the world.

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