Rafael Nadal Not Certain About 2024 French Open Appearance: ‘If I Feel Capable Enough To …’

Rafael Nadal Not Certain About 2024 French Open Appearance: ‘If I Feel Capable Enough To …’

Rafael Nadal during a press conference

Photo : Madrid Open

Rafael Nadal has said that he will only play at the French Open if he feels “capable enough to compete” but the former World No. 1 will do everything within his power to be ready to compete in Paris next month.

Notably, Nadal, a 14-time champion at Roland Garros, missed the French Open for the first time in 19 years through injury in 2023.

The former No. 1, who continues to deal with pain in his comeback from injury, made his first tour-level appearances since January last week at the Barcelona Open, winning his opening match before losing to Australian Alex de Minaur.

The 22-time major winner has only played five matches since January 2023 because of hip and abdominal injuries.

He is set to make a farewell appearance at the Madrid Open this week and faces American 16-year-old Darwin Blanch in the first round on Thursday.

“If I was in Paris today, I wouldn’t go out to play. I don’t think I’ll be able to play at 100%, but it’s important to be able to play for the last time in Madrid. It means a lot to me to play on this court where I’ve had some great moments,” said Nadal at a news conference in reference to Roland Garros.

“This doesn’t mean I’m giving up on anything in the next few weeks. I don’t know what might happen. Without trying to confuse anyone, I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next three weeks,” he added.

The 37-year-old has played just five competitive matches this year, has previously signaled that 2024 may be his final year on tour.

“I’m going to do the things I have to do to be able to play in Paris. And if I can, I can, and if I can’t, I can’t. I’m going to Paris if I feel like I’m good enough. … I’m going to Paris if I feel capable enough to compete,” said Nadal, a 14-time French Open champion.

Nadal is a record five-time champion in Madrid, with his last title in the Spanish capital coming in 2017.

“The goal is to be on court. Enjoy as long as possible. 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.

The tennis legend 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. I mean, I am not playing bad. It’s about more body limitations,” Nadal said.

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