Rafael Nadal to hold press conference as French Open decision looms

Ewan West
Rafael Nadal talks to the media
Rafael Nadal disappointed

Rafael Nadal will hold a press conference on Thursday after reports surfaced claiming he is set to miss the 2023 French Open, his PR team have revealed.

The 36-year-old will “inform about his participation” at Roland Garros at the news conference, which will be held at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion has already withdrawn from all four of his scheduled clay-court events this year. After missing the Monte Carlo Masters, the Barcelona Open and the Madrid Open, he also had to skip the ongoing Italian Open.

Nadal has not competed since suffering a hip injury at the Australian Open in January. The world No 14 has played only 18 matches across seven tour-level events since beating Casper Ruud in the title match at the Paris major in 2022.

The Spaniard sustained an abdominal tear that forced him to withdraw ahead of his 2022 Wimbledon semi-final with Nick Kyrgios. The effects of that injury seemed to hamper him for the remainder of the season.

In a statement released by Nadal’s PR team, it was confirmed that the Mallorcan would soon discuss whether he will play the French Open.

“Rafa Nadal will hold a press conference tomorrow at 4pm (3pm UK) at the Rafa Nadal Academy by MoviStar to inform about his participation in Roland Garros. If he plays or not and the reasons either way will be only be communicated tomorrow,” it read.

The press conference was announced on Wednesday following reports from several Spanish news outlets that Nadal would not be present at Roland Garros.

Tournament director Jean-Baptiste Perlant revealed he offered the legendary Spaniard a wildcard to compete at this week’s Bordeaux Challenger event.

“I offered him (Nadal’s agent Carlos Costa) one of the wildcards. He very kindly told me that Nadal was continuing his preparation at home in Manacor, that he was not ready and was in a race against time to be ready for the French Open,” told French sports newspaper L’Equipe.

Nadal has won a record 14 Roland Garros titles, with his first triumph coming on his debut appearance in 2005. He holds an astonishing 112-3 record across 18 appearances at the Grand Slam.

The 36-year-old has not missed the French Open since his maiden campaign in 2005.

Two of his three defeats at the major were to his great rival Novak Djokovic (in 2015 and 2021), while his first was against Robin Soderling in 2009.

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