Rafael Nadal drops major hint over French Open and retirement

Rafael Nadal will only play the French Open if he feels ‘competitive’ (Picture: Getty)

Rafael Nadal has hinted that he may miss the French Open due to injury but suggests it will not force him into retirement from tennis just yet.

The 37-year-old, one of the greatest players of all time, has spoken openly about hanging up his racket several times and said 2024 would likely be his final season in the sport, later admitting he may not make it through the entire year.

Nadal has once again largely struggled with injury, picking up a muscle problem in Brisbane at the start of January in a huge blow to his farewell tour plans.

The Spanish legend, who has won 22 Grand Slam men’s singles titles, finally made his return in Barcelona this month, producing a win over Italian star Flavio Cobolli.

Nadal lost to Alex De Minaur in his next match and is back in action on Thursday at the Madrid Open as he faces 16-year-old American Darwin Blanch.

Speaking ahead of that match, Nadal has revealed that he will not be able to feature at his beloved Grand Slam this year unless he can make a recovery.

The French Open begins in under a month in Paris – where Nadal holds the record for the most men’s singles titles – and has earned the nickname ‘King of Clay’.

Rafael Nadal pictured with a smile at The Netflix Slam on March 3, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Rafael Nadal is targeting the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris (Picture: Getty)

John McEnroe predicted earlier this year that Nadal would retire from tennis if he wasn’t able to play Roland-Garros but that does not appear to be the case.

‘If I arrive in Paris the way I feel today, I won’t play [the French Open],’ Nadal said on Wednesday.

’I’ll play Roland-Garros if I feel competitive… It won’t be the end of the world or the end of my career. I still have goals after Roland-Garros, like the Olympics.’

Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz is dreaming of playing doubles with his ‘idol’ Nadal at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

‘It would be a dream,’ Alcaraz said. ‘Not only to win a medal at singles or doubles, but just to live the experience of a doubles with your idol would be a memory that I would keep with special affection.

‘For me, it could be a dream playing doubles with him in the Olympics. Let’s see how he’s doing and how he’s going this year. Hopefully he’s going great.’


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