‘There is less than a 10% chance of seeing Rafael Nadal win Roland Garros’, claims former pro

Rafael Nadal in action

Retired ATP pro Florent Serra has asserted that he does not think Rafael Nadal is “capable” of winning the French Open for the 15th time ahead of the great Spaniard’s comeback.

The former world No 36 highlighted Nadal’s one year absence and his age as reasons he believes “there is less than a 10% chance of seeing him win Roland Garros.”

Nadal revealed last week that he would be making his long-awaited return to action at the Brisbane International tournament in January in preparation for the 2024 Australian Open.

The Mallorcan has not played since suffering a hip injury in his second round loss to Mackenzie McDonald at the 2023 Australian Open in January. The 37-year-old underwent surgery to address the issue in June, having initially expected to be out for around six to eight weeks.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion was forced to cancel his planned comeback during the 2023 clay-court season and missed the French Open for the first time since 2004.

The former world No 1 explained in a press conference announcing his withdrawal from the clay-court Major that 2024 would likely be his final season on the tour.

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Nadal won his most recent Grand Slam title at the 2022 French Open, where he defeated Casper Ruud in straight sets to claim a record-extending 14th Roland Garros crown.

The ‘King of Clay’, who claimed his maiden Major title on his French Open debut in 2005, holds an outrageous 112-3 (97%) record at Roland Garros.

Speaking to RMC Sport, Serra wrote off Nadal’s chances of adding to his incredible tally at the tournament he has enjoyed unrivalled dominance at.

“I don’t think he is capable of lifting the trophy a 15th time at Roland Garros. Apart from the images that we have all seen where he shows intensity, I think that an absence of one year compared to all these players who played all year where tennis goes even faster,” the Frenchman said.

“You will have to do an exceptional sequence, gain confidence and playing time, all this without being seeded, without protecting yourself in the first rounds.

“At 37 years old, it seems a little complicated to me to win Roland Garros, to tell you the truth. For me, there is less than a 10% chance of seeing him win Roland Garros, or even lower.”

Serra, who played professionally between 2000 and 2015, claimed ATP singles titles in Bucharest and Adelaide.

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