Rafael Nadal Indian Wells Masters 2022

Rafael Nadal the ‘slight favourite’ for French Open if fully fit says former ATP star

Former British number one Tim Henman has claimed that world number five Rafael Nadal is the “slight favourite” over Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz for this year’s Roland Garros title if he is fully healthy. 

Nadal had a blistering start to the season which included title wins in Acapulco and Melbourne as well as capturing a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title.

However, his best start to a season ever in his career was stopped in it’s tracks as he sustained a cracked rib in the Indian Wells Masters final in March which forced him to miss the majority of the European clay court swing.

The Spaniard returned earlier this month at the Madrid Open but yet again, after only one week on from his return, the 35-year-old Rafael Nadal suffered yet another injury set back.

During his loss to Canada’s Denis Shapovalov in three sets at the Rome Open, the 21-time Grand Slam winner admitted afterwards that he is “living” with a persistent foot injury – the same injury which kept him out at the end of the 2021 season.

It was Nadal’s earliest exit in Rome since 2008, and it raised questions about his fitness ahead of the French Open, which starts on May 22.

However, Nadal is set to play at the Paris Slam and former French Open semi-finalist Tim Henman has argued that the 13-time French Open champion is the man to beat.

“I think if Rafa’s foot is healthy – given his record there – you have to make him a very slight favourite, but very close behind him I would have Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz.”

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