Rafael Nadal makes shocking admission about the French Open

Nadal is hoping to make at his 15th Roland Garros title.
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We want our heroes to go out in a burst instead of fading away slowly. We do not want to see the decline; we want to pretend it never happens. Heroes have to be immortal, right? Watching them age and get worse at something they have been great at is no fun for the hero or the fan. This is the way things have been going for Rafael Nadal for two years now.

Nadal suffered an abdominal issue during his run at Wimbledon in 2022 and he was not the same for the rest of the year. To begin 2023, the Spaniard suffered a horrible hip injury in the second round of the Australian Open and he missed the rest of the year. After returning in 2024, Nadal has had another abdominal issue and another hip problem.

Because of his ailments, he has been forced to miss every event except for two this year. That means he is not getting enough work in to get back in great form. If he could play a bunch of matches consecutively, that would help. But he can't and that causes him to not be in elite tennis shape enough to overcome players such as Alex de Minaur who Nadal lost to in his second match at the Barcelona Open.

Rafael Nadal not yet ready to commit to playing at the French Open

Nadal recently said he is not sure if he will play at the French Open in late May. The Spaniard has, of course, won 14 titles at Roland Garros, the most ever. He is very likely the all-time best player on clay with potentially only a young Bjorn Borg giving Nadal any issues if they had played during the same era. But Nadal might not ever win the French Open again.

According to Tennishead, Nadal said, "If I arrive in Paris like I feel today, I would not go on court. I will not play. I will play Roland Garros if I feel competitive. If I can play, I play. If I can’t play, I can’t. It won’t be the end of the world or the end of my career. I still got goals after Roland Garros, like the Olympics."

There is some hope in what Nadal said, of course. Maybe he does miss the French Open, but that does not mean he is done completely. He is well-known for loving having the opportunity to play for Spain in the Olympics. Plus, the tennis part of the 2024 Summer Olympics will be held at Roland Garros and clearly, Nadal knows how to win at that venue.

The issue is that because Nadal misses more tournaments than he plays now, expecting him to actually play at any event seems like a reach. The dream would be for Nadal to win the French Open and then retire. That would be movie-worthy.

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