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Business News/ Sports / Tennis News/  Rafael Nadal mulls skipping French Open, says 'I'm not going to play in Paris the way I'm feeling today'
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Rafael Nadal mulls skipping French Open, says 'I'm not going to play in Paris the way I'm feeling today'

Rafael Nadal unsure about playing at French Open due to injury, not in top form. Playing in Madrid Open as a personal sacrifice. Will try to play in Paris if able, but uncertain. Nadal aims to compete well and remains focused on Olympic Games.

Spain's Rafael Nadal answers to journalists during a press conference ahead of the 2024 ATP Tour Madrid Open tennis tournament at Caja Magica in Madrid on April 24, 2024. Rafael Nadal said today he will only play at the upcoming French Open if he feels 'capable enough to compete well'. The 14-time Roland Garros champion conceded that if the action in Paris were to kick off today, he would not be able to participate but vowed to keep fighting for the chance to play at his most successful tournament one last time. (AFP)Premium
Spain's Rafael Nadal answers to journalists during a press conference ahead of the 2024 ATP Tour Madrid Open tennis tournament at Caja Magica in Madrid on April 24, 2024. Rafael Nadal said today he will only play at the upcoming French Open if he feels 'capable enough to compete well'. The 14-time Roland Garros champion conceded that if the action in Paris were to kick off today, he would not be able to participate but vowed to keep fighting for the chance to play at his most successful tournament one last time. (AFP)

Spain's Rafael Nadal said on Wednesday that he is not sure if he will be able to play at next month's French Open after pushing through the pain barrier in his comeback from injury.

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 American Darwin Blanch in the first round of the Madrid Open on Thursday as a personal sacrifice.

"If I was in Paris today, I wouldn't go out to play," Nadal told a press conference, in reference to Roland Garros.

"I don't think I'll be able to play at 100% 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... if I feel capable enough to compete."

Nadal, who has said he expects to retire after the 2024 season, returned to competition in Brisbane in January, after almost a year side lined with a hip flexor injury.

However, after winning his first two matches in the tournament, Nadal lost in three sets to Australian Jordan Thompson in the quarter-finals.

The gruelling contest appeared to take its toll on the Spaniard who, trailing 1-4 in the final set, took a medical timeout to get treatment on his upper-left leg.

He did not play an ATP event until making a winning return last week in Barcelona, with a first round victory over Flavio Cobolli, only to fall a day later in a 7-5 6-1 second round defeat by Australian fourth seed Alex de Minaur.

"I am a competitive person and it is difficult to play without being able to give my best. If you ask me if I was happy in Barcelona, I say 'no, I wasn't happy'. What happens is that if I had tried to be happy in Barcelona today I probably wouldn't be here, that's the reality," Nadal said.

"That's why I want to try to go out and play in Paris feeling capable enough to compete well. I'm going to do my best to try to make it happen, and if it doesn't I'll have the personal satisfaction and the gratitude for having tried.

“We'll see what happens, but the world doesn't end if I don't play at Roland Garros. I also have the Olympic Games ahead of me."

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This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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Published: 24 Apr 2024, 08:16 PM IST
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