Nadal uncertain over French Open: ‘I wouldn’t play today’

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Nadal uncertain over French Open: ‘I wouldn’t play today’

Rafael Nadal is not sure if he will be able to play at next month’s French Open as he continues his comeback from injury at the Madrid Open on Thursday – live on Sky Sports.

The 37-year-old, a 22-time Grand Slam champion, said that he is far from being in top form and that he is only playing against 16-year-old American Darwin Blanch in his first-round match in Madrid as a personal sacrifice.

“If I was in Paris today, I wouldn’t go out to play,” Nadal told reporters.

Rafael Nadal of Spain practices during the Mutua Madrid Open 2024, ATP Masters 1000 and WTA 1000, tournament celebrated at Caja Magica on April 24, 2024 in Madrid, Spain. AFP7 24/04/2024 (Europa Press via AP)

Image: Rafael Nadal is in action at the Madrid Open on Thursday, live on Sky Sports Tennis

“I don’t think I’ll be able to play at 100 per cent 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.

“This doesn’t mean I’m giving up on anything in the next few weeks, I don’t know what might happen.

“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.”

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Nadal lost to Alex de Minaur in the second round of the Barcelona Open

Nadal, a record 14-time winner at Roland-Garros and five-time champion in Madrid, lost to Alex de Minaur in the second round in Barcelona last week in just his second tournament in 15 months after having hip surgery last summer.

“Hopefully I can play without many limitations,” Nadal said ahead of his Madrid opener against Blanch. “Then we’ll see what happens. If I play without limitations, even if I lose, then it will be positive.”

He added: “The goal is to be on court, to enjoy as long as possible.

“That’s the thing, to 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 on the professional tour and here at home in Madrid, a place that gives me everything in terms of support.

“I don’t lose hope. I just accept the situation that I have today.

“I am not playing badly. It’s more about body limitations.”

‘Nadal won’t jeopardise Roland-Garros’

Anne Keothavong on Sky Sports Tennis:

“It’s slightly concerning. Clearly, he [Nadal] is not anywhere near 100 per cent fit, but you can understand why he is here and why he would do everything he can in his powers to give himself a chance to play.

“However he is feeling, one thing he won’t want to do is jeopardise his chances of playing at Roland-Garros. That’s where he wants to give himself the best possible chance to lift that trophy.

“Despite everything, I’m sure he still has that winner’s mindset. That doesn’t just go. If he’s going to be out there playing, it’s going to be to win.”

Colin Fleming on Sky Sports Tennis:

“It’s possibly a farewell appearance, similar to the way he spoke in Barcelona as well.

“It will be great to see him back on the court. I hope he can play and compete at a level where he feels like he can show his game and can do himself justice.

“If he can’t, I don’t think he’s going to be hanging too long, as he’s said – which is really sad.”

Upcoming tennis live on Sky Sports

The stars of tennis will appear on the new Sky Sports Tennis channel every day

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In the run-up to the second Grand Slam of 2024 – the French Open at Roland-Garros from May 26 – you can watch all of the biggest tennis stars in action live on Sky Sports as they compete across the clay-court season…

  • Madrid Open (ATP and WTA Masters 1000) – Tuesday April 22-Sunday May 5
  • Italian Open (ATP and WTA Masters 1000) – Tuesday May 7-Sunday May 19
  • Geneva Open (ATP 250) – Monday May 20-Sunday May 26
  • Lyon Open (ATP 250) – Monday May 20-Sunday May 26
  • Internationaux de Strasbourg (WTA 500) – Monday May 20-Sunday May 26
  • Morocco Open (WTA 250) – Monday May 20-Sunday May 26

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Find out all the ways to watch tennis on Sky Sports, including the US Open, ATP and WTA tours

Fans will also be able to follow their favourite players and gain deeper insights from both Tours via Sky Sports News, the Sky Sports App and skysports.com as well as via Sky Sports’ social channels.

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