2023 French Open – Rafael Nadal to Confirm Withdrawal?

Rafael Nadal has not been the same player after experiencing an abdominal tear at Wimbledon. Since then, the Spaniard has only played 13 matches since last August, struggling to give a decent account of himself.

His return to top form was exacerbated at the Australian Open. Nadal injured his left hip in the second round and earned an early return to his familiar surroundings in Spain. While he has continued to make the occasional appearances on the red carpet, the 36-year-old has not been pictured on the court.

Nadal’s Press Conference

The Italian Open in entering its final stretch and the French Open is right around the corner. There is no certain news about Nadal’s presence at Roland Garros. A cryptic message was shared by the Spaniard’s team that did not divulge the King of Clay’s future, building anxiety for a press conference the next day.

“Rafa Nadal will hold a press conference tomorrow at 4pm at the Rafa Nadal Academy by MoviStar to inform about his participation in Roland Garros. If he plays or not and the reasons either way will be only be communicated tomorrow,” Nadal’s team shared.

It casts doubts over Nadal’s participation in the second Grand Slam event of the year. While the 22-Grand Slam winner had earlier outrightly rejected claims he would participate at Monte Carlo Masters, the buildup for the press conference does not bode well for the French Open and Nadal’s prospects.

Continued Absence from the Court

After missing the hard court events, Nadal was supposed to make a return on the European clay court swing of the ATP tour. Monte Carlo Masters was the first to suffer from his withdrawal. Barcelona Open and Madrid Open also faced a similar fate.

Given his proficiency on the red surface, pundits believed the former world number 1 only needed time on the court to give his best at Roland Garros. Even Novak Djokovic shared similar sentiments and hailed him as the favourite at the French Open.

“It depends if Nadal plays or not. But next to him, of course, Alcaraz, Rune, these guys are right there in the contention, some of the biggest favourites to win the title,” the Serb remarked.

Outings in Rome Masters would help his cause. Even participation at the Bordeaux Challenger would have been sufficient. However, Nadal was not on the list of 100 players who had signed up for the event, casting dark shadows on his presence on the tour.

Injuries Continue to Catch up with Nadal

The Spaniard’s incredible physicality and playing style have undoubtedly contributed to his success on the tennis court. However, the same physical attributes that make him a formidable player also place him at a higher risk of injuries, particularly as he progresses in his career.

One factor that contributes to Nadal’s susceptibility to injuries is his intense and physically demanding style of play. His relentless movement, aggressive shot-making, and powerful strokes place significant strain on his body, particularly his joints and muscles.

As Nadal has aged and accumulated more mileage on his body, managing his physical condition has become even more critical. He was supposed to take the number 1 crown with success in Wimbledon but had to withdraw from his semi-final bout with Nick Kyrgios. He would have been the oldest number 1 ATP player but that desire has not come to fruition.

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