Rafael Nadal might be peeved at Andy Roddick after recent comments

Nadal is still trying to get back in form after missing almost an entire year.
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You can call Rafael Nadal many things but do not try to imply that he is a favorite at the French Open in May. Nadal will have none of that talk. After Stefanos Tsitsipas recently said that Nadal should always be considered a favorite at Roland Garros, the Spanish great said that kind of talk was "stupid." The issue is that Nadal set himself up for those kinds of comments but in the best possible way.

Nadal has won the French Open a staggering 14 times. He has won multiple other clay-court events at least 10 times. That is a ridiculous amount of winning anything, but when a player is so good on one surface, even if they are 80 years old, if they walk out on the court with a racket in their hands other players are going to fear them. Nadal's success has created that fear.

Maybe the Spaniard is simply being dismissive of any expectations that he will win the French Open. To be fair, he certainly was not in peak form even before injuries began to get the better of him. He had an abdomen injury at Wimbledon in 2022 and was never quite the same until he suffered a catastrophic hip injury at the Australian Open to start 2023.

Andy Roddick believes Rafael Nadal should still be considered a favorite at the French Open

But Nadal is simply different on clay. He did not play at Roland Garros in 2023 because of the hip surgery he needed, but in five of the six years before 2023, he won the French title. If he is healthy enough to play, he is healthy enough for many to expect him to take home yet another trophy in Paris.

This includes former ATP No. 1 Andy Roddick. If Nadal was upset by what Tsitsipas said of the Spaniard's chances at Roland Garros, the same will hold true of what Roddick said. Speaking on his excellent podcast, Served with Andy Roddick, Roddick said, "I still feel if he gets matches in and if he gets a clean bill of health for two or three events going into Roland Garros, (Nadal is) certainly one of the favorites."

The key here might be Nadal maintaining his health, however. He played at the Barcelona Open but only got two matches in as Alex de Minaur was simply the better player in their second-round match. That does not mean de Minaur would be expected to defeat Nadal if the Spaniard had been playing a lot more matches and was in better tennis shape. Nadal is expected to play at the Madrid Masters as well, so if he can get a few more matches in there (at least a few, and he could possibly win the event) then Nadal should be in good shape for Paris.

No matter if Rafael Nadal likes it or not, people are going to see him as a favorite at the French Open as long as he can walk. We have seen too much greatness for too long to rule him out.

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