Rafael Nadal switches gears, gives major update on French Open status

Rafael Nadal switches gears, gives major update on French Open status

Less than one week after Rafael Nadal said he was unsure if he’d be able to compete in the French Open, the 22-time Grand Slam winner changed his tone.

Following a straight sets defeat (6-1, 6-3) in the third round of the Italian Open on Saturday, Nadal said he had two choices for the French Open, which begins on May 26.

“One is to say, ‘OK, I am not ready, I am not playing enough well,'” Nadal said, according to an ESPN report. “Another is accept how I am today and work the proper way to try to be in a different way in two weeks. The decision, as you can imagine, is not clear in my mind today. But if I have to say what’s my feeling and if my mind is closer one way or the other way, I’m going to say be in Roland Garros and try my best. Physically I have some issues, but not probably yet enough to say not playing in the most important event of my tennis career.”

Per Adam Zagoria of Forbes, Nadal’s defeat to world No. 9 Hubert Hurkacz on Saturday was his most lopsided loss on clay since 2003 (at 16 years old) when he also won just four games against Gaston Gaudio in Hamburg.

Nadal will turn 38 on June 3, halfway through the French Open, and still deals with his lingering hip issues that required surgery in 2023. Nadal missed most of the 2023 season while recovering from the procedure but has won a record 14 French Open singles titles.

This is expected to be the Spaniard’s final appearance at the major, which he first won in 2005.

Spanish news outlet AS first reported on Wednesday that Nadal “feels fine” physically and is “less dejected” than expected following his loss to Hurkacz.

According to a report by Zagoria on Wednesday, “it’s unclear if Nadal will announce formal retirement plans, but he has indicated he wants to compete in the Paris Olympics at Roland Garros.” Furthermore, world No. 3 and two-time Grand Slam victor Carlos Alcaraz (also from Spain) has said that he wants to play doubles with Nadal during the Olympics.

Related Articles