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Rafael Nadal: Spaniard hopes to return to French Open and search unlikely fifteenth title | Tennis Information

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Because the solar units on the glittering profession of Rafael Nadal, is there sufficient left within the tank for one final push for an unlikely record-extending fifteenth French Open title?

Nadal isn’t any stranger to lengthy battles, no extra so than towards damage all through his illustrious profession.

His most up-to-date points noticed him miss a piece of 2023 because of a hip damage, to go along with points together with his foot, his knees, and the large toll his physique takes because of his aggressively athletic fashion of play.

Because the build-up on clay continues in direction of the second Slam of the yr, followers will dare to hope that Nadal will prolong his historic run of titles in Paris on the French Open.

The 37-year-old 22-time main champion will depend on his protected rating to line up in the primary draw of the French Open, which begins on Might 26.

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Over the course of a profession that noticed the Spaniard surpass Roger Federer’s haul of 20 Grand Slam titles, Nadal will look to win a record-extending fifteenth Roland Garros title, to take him to 23 Slams – only one behind Novak Djokovic.

However his path to glory won’t been simple for Nadal who has been beset by accidents all through his profession.

Nadal’s damage record

12 months Harm Tournaments affected
2003 Elbow Roland Garros debut
2004 Ankle stress fracture Roland Garros, Wimbledon
2006 Left foot Australian Open
2009 Tendonitis of the knee Wimbledon
2012 Tendonitis of the knee London 2012 Olympics, US Open
2013 Abdomen virus Australian Open
2014 Proper wrist US Open
2016 Left wrist Roland Garros, Wimbledon
2020 Covid bubble issues US Open
2021 Left foot Wimbledon, Tokyo Olympics, US Open
2023 Left hip All 4 Slams
2024 Thigh muscle Australian Open

Nadal in 2024

Nadal appeared to seek out his kind on the Madrid Open the place he obtained an emotional send-off after his fourth-round defeat

After spending most of final yr out with a hip damage, his return in January was lower brief after a muscle tear in Brisbane after defeating Dominic Thiem and Jason Kubler earlier than dropping within the quarter-finals to Jordan Thompson.

The previous world No 1 ramped up and was in California making ready to compete at Indian Wells, however withdrew earlier than the match.

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Match director Feliciano Lopez mentioned Nadal’s final match of the Madrid Open was emotional because of him being the most important sportsperson in Spain’s historical past

However final month he returned to motion on his beloved clay, reaching the second spherical in Barcelona and the fourth spherical in Madrid the place he gained revenge over Australia’s Alex De Minaur earlier than going out to Czech Jiri Lehecka.

Away from the altitude of Madrid, the situations in Rome are nearer to what gamers will face in Paris, and success requires lots of energy to hit by the ball on this energy-sapping floor.

Nadal can look imperious towards a lot lower-ranked gamers, however he struggled to beat world No 108 Zizou Bergs within the first spherical.

“My sport is extra unpredictable than earlier than, I did not play a lot tennis for the final two years so have had some ups and downs, on and off,” Nadal mentioned.

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Rafael Nadal waved an emotional farewell to the Madrid Open as his house followers applauded him off the court docket for the final time

He then got here up towards court docket savvy Hubert Hurkacz, the place he struggled to impose his physical game on the giant Pole in a straight-sets defeat, showing gradual at occasions and missing the lucidness to complete off factors.

The 6-1 6-3 defeat was essentially the most lopsided loss for Nadal on clay in 21 years, since additionally successful solely 4 video games towards Gaston Gaudio in Hamburg in 2003 when he was solely 16.

He seems to be so unhappy together with his stage of tennis that he is nonetheless debating whether or not or to not go to Roland Garros.

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Nadal was given an unbelievable ovation in Rome after his defeat to Hubert Hurkacz and was then seen waving to followers when crossing the bridge on the Foro Italico

“One is to say, ‘OK, I’m not prepared, I’m not taking part in nicely sufficient’,” Nadal mentioned. “One other is settle for how I’m at the moment and work the right option to attempt to be another way in two weeks.

“The choice, as you’ll be able to think about, just isn’t clear in my thoughts. But when I’ve to say what’s my feeling and if my thoughts is nearer by hook or by crook means, I going to say be in Roland Garros and check out my finest,” Nadal added.

“Bodily I’ve some points, however not in all probability but sufficient to say not taking part in in an important occasion of my tennis profession.

“Let’s have a look at what is going on on, how I really feel myself mentally tomorrow, after tomorrow, and in a single week. If I really feel prepared, I going to attempt to be there and combat for the issues that I’ve been preventing the final 15 years, if now appears not possible.”

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Sky Sports activities Tennis caught up with soccer icon Luis Figo on the Madrid Open, who hailed Nadal’s profession

So what about Rafa’s probabilities at Roland Garros?

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After his defeat to Hurkacz in Rome, Nadal says he must asses if he feels bodily able to compete on the French Open

5 units on clay is a special query with bodily and psychological stamina key to development at Roland Garros.

Nadal’s preventing spirit makes it very tough for much less skilled gamers within the early rounds to get a toe-hold within the match to take the Spaniard the gap.

After all, will probably be depending on the draw, and Nadal will probably be coming in with a protected rating, which suggests he will probably be entered for the primary draw, however that doesn’t apply to seeding, and he may face a high participant within the early rounds, together with defending champion Novak Djokovic.

No matter occurs, Nadal will obtain an emotional ship off at a match the place he has held the Coupe des Mousquetaires 14 occasions throughout his trophy-laden profession in addition to an unbelievable 112-3 document.

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Jamie Murray feels Nadal deserves to complete his profession in good well being AND on his personal phrases…

What’s developing on Sky Sports activities Tennis?

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Discover out all of the methods to observe tennis on Sky Sports activities, together with the US Open, ATP and WTA excursions

Within the run-up to the second Grand Slam of 2024 – the French Open at Roland Garros from Might 26 – you’ll be able to watch all the largest tennis stars in motion stay on Sky Sports activities as they compete throughout the clay-court season.

  • Geneva Open (ATP 250) – Might 20-26
  • Lyon Open (ATP 250) – Might 20-26
  • Internationaux de Strasbourg (WTA 500 with Emma Raducanu in motion) – Might 20-26
  • Morocco Open (WTA 250) – Might 20-26

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