Is Rafael Nadal taking a ‘huge bet on Roland Garros and wanting to be a 100% there’?

Rafael Nadal training

There are now major question marks over Rafael Nadal’s participation at Roland Garros with Andy Roddick admitting the best case scenario is that the Spaniard is in good shape to play in Paris, but they are just taking precautionary measures.

It remains to be seen if Nadal will take part in this year’s French Open as he remains sidelined with the hip injury he picked up at the Australian Open in mid-January.

After missing the Monte Carlo Masters, Barcelona Open and Madrid Open, the tennis great was expected to make his return at next week’s Italian Open as it is the last ATP Masters 1000 event before the clay-court major in Paris.

However, he withdrew from the tournament on Friday stating “Despite having noticed an improvement these past few days, it’s been many months since I have not been able to train at a high level and the process of re-adaption has its times and I have no choice but to accept them and keep working”.

Traditionally Nadal does not play any tournaments the week before the French Open and if he continues that pattern then he will head to Roland Garros without any minutes under his belt on clay this year.

Former world No 1 Roddick admits the 14-time champion is running out of time as there are more and more question marks than answers.

“This is tough. If you know then you know he likes to get those matches in before Roland Garros. This is a serious thing and you hate to say it out loud but if he’s missing Rome then all of a sudden Roland Garros comes into question. Would he want to come back with this injury on a slippery clay court?” he asked on Tennis Channel.

“He’s not in the beginning of his career anymore, I promise you that. So you hope that there is a recovery in place. You hope that this is precautionary. You hope that this is just a huge bet on Roland Garros and wanting to be a 1000% there but listen like I said before, the space between Rafa’s injuries is getting tighter and tighter.”

Nadal’s former coach and uncle, Toni Nadal, has hinted that the 22-time Grand Slam winner will feature at Roland Garros.

However, former WTA top 10 player and commentator Chanda Rubin remains unsure about the Spaniard’s participation.

“Is that for sure? Is that 100% from uncle Toni?” she asked. “I do think it is tough when you pull out of Rome and there are literally no matches going into Roland Garros, you certainly hope for Rafa that he is 100% or right there and just wasn’t quite ready for Rome, but he will be ready for Paris.

“I think if he is, absolutely you still have to give him a shot as he is that good on this surface, but the concern is the injury is still a problem that he is not quite ready physically and if he is in that state right now then it would be tough to imagine him at Roland Garros.”

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