Rafael Nadal will ‘try to be competitive’ at Roland Garros

Rafael Nadal French Open champion

Rafael Nadal has not offered any updates on when he will return to action but he is still expected to bid for a 15th French Open title.

Roland Garros have honoured Nadal with a French Open replica trophy sent to his Academy in Mallorca.

Nadal made a typically understated estimation of his ambitions in Paris this season.

“I really hope to see you again this year at Roland-Garros, and I’ll try to be competitive,” Nadal said with a smile.

Nadal received a replica trophy gifted by the French Tennis Federation for the Rafa Nadal Museum in Manacor.

“It is a great privilege to welcome you here in my academy. You know how much Roland-Garros and this place mean to me. Having you here is a very special moment, and I can’t thank you enough for coming, along with some of the staff with whom I am very close at Roland-Garros.

“Thank you so much for sending this replica of the big one at Roland-Garros. For me, it is incredible to have my sculpture at Roland-Garros and now I have one here, and that means a lot! Thank you very much for everything.”

Nadal recently poured cold water on the suggestion that he would be back in Monte Carlo for the first clay court Masters event of the 2023 season.

He has not featured at all on the ATP Tour this season since his early exit from the Australian Open.

Nadal injured his hip during a second round loss to American Mackenzie McDonald at the Australian Open in January.

He had looked set to return to action at Indian Wells but after getting back on court in Mallorca, opted to withdraw from both Sunshine Double events.

Nadal hasn’t ruled out returning at Monte Carlo but he would clarify that he wasn’t in a position to confirm a comeback just yet.

He is likely to prioritise Grand Slam performance over the pursuit of ATP Rankings points.

As a result of his injury-enforced absence Nadal drop[ed out of the top ten on the ATP rankings for the first time since April 2005 last month.

His early defeat at the Australian Open saw Nadal drop a stack of points as he failed to defend the title he won in 2022.

Nadal’s 912 consecutive weeks in the ATP Tour top ten gave him a record 124 weeks longer than the previous mark established by Jimmy Connors.

READ MORE: No 1 ranking has an asterisk against it as Novak Djokovic reclaims top spot