Rafael Nadal appears to have made French Open decision as travel plans revealed

Ewan West
Rafael Nadal of Spain in action during a training session at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome, Italy. 07th May, 2024
Rafael Nadal in a practice session ahead of the Italian Open

Rafael Nadal looks set to play at the 2024 French Open after reportedly finalising his travel plans ahead of the Paris Grand Slam. 

The tennis legend is yet to confirm whether he will compete at Roland Garros in what will likely be his last season, but is widely expected to feature.

Before his appearance at the Madrid Open last month, Nadal suggested there are no guarantees he will play the French Open, which he has won an astonishing 14 times.

“If I arrive in Paris like I feel today, I would not go on court,” said the Spaniard. “I will not play. I will play Roland Garros if I feel competitive. If I can play, I play. If I can’t play, I can’t.”

Following his 1-6, 3-6 loss to Hubert Hurkacz in the second round of the Italian Open last week, Nadal explained he had still not made a final decision, but was leaning towards playing at Roland Garros.

“The decision, as you can imagine, is not clear in my mind today,” said the 37-year-old. “But if I have to say what’s my feeling and if my mind is closer one way or the other way, I going to say be in Roland Garros and try my best.

“Physically I have some issues, but not probably yet enough to say not playing in the most important event of my tennis career.

READ MORE: Rafael Nadal’s injury record: Elbow, ankle stress fracture, wrist, foot, hip…

“Let’s see what’s going on, how I feel myself mentally tomorrow, after tomorrow, and in one week. If I feel ready, I going to try to be there and fight for the things that I have been fighting the last 15 years, if now seems impossible.”

According to reports in the Spanish media, it seems that Nadal will play at the clay-court Major, which will be held from May 26 to June 9.

The former world No 1’s plan is apparently to train at his Academy in Mallorca in the coming days, before travelling to Paris next week with the intention of preparing for Roland Garros.

Nadal won the most recent of his 22 Grand Slams and 92 ATP singles titles at the 2022 French Open, where he dismantled Casper Ruud in the final.

The Mallorcan, who will turn 38 during the French Open on June 3, has previously divulged that 2024 will probably be the final year of his career.

However, he refused to confirm that his Italian Open loss to Hurkacz was his last match in Rome, leaving the door open to playing beyond this year.

“I don’t know if this is going to be the last time I’m going to play here or not,” Nadal explained. “Of course, is much more chances that today’s the last one.

“But, of course, I am not a guy that I make decisions in hot moments, in the tough moments. Just try to let it be little bit the time and then let’s see.

“I have never said that this would be my last time here. I said it in Madrid because that was the case, here I am not 100% sure. It is probably 98%, but I will not say it for sure when it is not.

“They are different sensations here and in Madrid, a different story, a different moment. I didn’t expect to have any ceremony. If I retire, they will have time to prepare something in the coming years.”

READ MORE: Players with the most wins at a single ATP tournament, ft. Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic