May 19, 2024

Rafael Nadal’s uncle and former coach, Toni Nadal, recently compared the difficult buildup to his 2022 Australian Open win and his current complicated preparation for Roland Garros.


Nadal is targeting to win an unprecedented 15th French Open in 2024, in what could potentially be the final season of his career. But unlike the previous editions of the clay-court Grand Slam, he will enter this year’s tournament as an underdog.


For a man with 112 wins at Roland Garros and a record 14 titles, it is an unusual situation. But there are reasons why that is the case. The 37-year-old will play in Paris for the first time since winning the tournament in 2022.


Since then, Nadal has battled two separate hip injuries, one of which forced him on the treatment table for almost the whole of last season. This season, he has played 11 matches on tour and has lost five times.


While several analysts reckon this will be the most open Roland Garros of the past two decades, Nadal’s name has not been mentioned among the contenders.


Nadal’s Roland Garros Participation ‘Yet To Be Decided’ According To Coach

Nadal’s Roland Garros Participation ‘Yet To Be Decided’ According To Coach

There is also a possibility he might not play the tournament following his downbeat reaction after losing to Hubert Hurkacz quite convincingly at the Italian Open. Nadal is yet to commit to the 2024 Roland Garros, and a decision on his involvement is imminent.


But his ex-coach, Toni Nadal, who knows his nephew’s tennis skillset, mentality, and resilience better than anybody, believes the former World No. 1 can win the French Open again.


His uncle, who spoke to Diarios de Bicicleta, likened Nadal’s current situation to when he tested positive for coronavirus before he traveled to Australia in 2022. That year, Nadal overcame a persistent foot injury and the virus to win his second Australian Open title.


“He had had Covid-19 three days before traveling, but then he tested negative and still didn’t know whether to travel. In the end he decided to go, starting with little preparation, and won the tournament.”

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