Rafael Nadal - Roland Garros 2022

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

Rafael Nadal has revealed his intent to challenge for a record 15th Roland Garros crown, when receiving a replica statue from the French Tennis Federation (FFT).

Nadal has been out of action since the Australian Open, where he picked up a grade two tear to his iliopsoas muscle in a second round defeat to Mackenzie McDonald.

The original recovery period was supposed to be six to eight weeks, but it appears that the injury was more severe than first thought with Nadal saying he ‘can’t confirm’ whether he will be able to return for the Monte Carlo Masters, that begin over 12 weeks after he sustained the injury.

However, the 22-time Grand Slam champion has returned to the practice courts, to which he has released images of, suggesting that he is on the mend.

Nadal is the most successful player ever at the French major, with double the amount of Open Era titles than the closest singles player Chris Evert (7).

As a result, the Spaniard received a statue two years ago and this week he has received a replica from Roland Garros director Amelie Mauresmo and the FFT President Gilles Moretton when they visited his academy.

Nadal spoke about what the statue and the tournament means to him, “It is a great privilege to welcome you here in my academy. You know how much Roland-Garros and this place mean to me.”

He continued, “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.”

Nadal also commented on his intention to challenge at the Paris major once again, despite only winning one of his four matches this season, “I really hope to see you again this year at Roland-Garros, and I’ll try to be competitive.”

The 36-year-old is still on the entry list for the Monte Carlo Masters, which begin on the 9th April, so it remains to be known whether that will be where he returns.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.