Spain’s Rafael Nadal, the 22-time Grand Slam winner, has been sidelined since January with a left hip flexor injury that he suffered in the Australian Open. File | Photo Credit: AP
Toni Nadal, Rafael Nadal’s uncle and former coach, expressed his optimism about his nephew’s participation in the French Open. However, Toni acknowledged that the 14-time champion will not come to the contest under ideal circumstances.
Toni Nadal stated in an interview with TVE, a Spanish public broadcaster, that Rafa Nadal is making a good recovery, and it won’t be long before he can compete once again. Still, he won’t be able to participate in the Madrid Open.
Last week, Rafael Nadal announced that he wouldn’t be participating in the Madrid event since he is still recovering from the hip injury he sustained in January at the Australian Open. Nadal has not set a deadline for his recovery and plans to try a new type of treatment. This casts doubts on his participation in Paris, where he hopes to achieve a ground-breaking 23rd men’s Grand Slam title starting May 28.
“Obviously he will not arrive with good preparation, we must not fool ourselves, because, obviously, since January 10 I think, he hasn’t played any matches,” added Toni Nadal, emphasizing that Rafael has yet to compete for quite some time.
Rafael Nadal missed the hard-court tournaments in the U.S. last month and planned to return at the start of the clay-court season. However, he missed the Barcelona, Madrid, and Monte Carlo events.
Toni Nadal noted that Rafael’s performance in the first week depends significantly on the draw, and it will be a challenging task to get a favorable outcome considering the extent of Rafael’s absence from the court. Nevertheless, Toni Nadal expressed confidence in his nephew’s potential to become a favorite by the second week and hoped for this to happen at Roland Garros.