Rafael Nadal French Open 2021

Will Rafael Nadal play the French Open?

Rafael Nadal has dominated Roland Garros in the 21st century, but the Spaniard is in a different predicament than ever before heading into the 2024 tournament. So this begs the question, will he play in Paris this year?

Nadal has claimed the title in 14 of his 18 appearances at Roland Garros, only suffering losses to Novak Djokovic (2015 & 2021) and Robin Soderling (2009), with the Mallorcan withdrawing before his third round match in 2016 due to a wrist injury.

After picking up a serious psoas (abdominal muscle) tear at the 2023 Australian Open, Nadal was forced to miss Roland Garros for the first time since 2004.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion has been gearing up to return to the tournament this year, but has suffered mixed results at what have historically been some of his favourite tournaments.

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Rafael Nadal’s form heading into the 2024 French Open

Nadal officially made his return to action at the Brisbane International in January, reaching the quarter-finals before suffering another injury setback.

The former world No.1 did not return to the tour until April at the Barcelona Open, winning his opening match before losing in the second round to fourth seed Alex de Minaur.

He had the opportunity to get revenge over De Minaur the following week at the Madrid Open, with Nadal winning three consecutive matches for the first time since the 2022 US Open.

It was not such a successful tournament for Nadal in Rome, losing convincingly in the second round to seventh seed Hubert Hurkacz.

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Will Rafael Nadal want to play the French Open not at 100%?

With Roland Garros being another step up for players due to the best-of-five set nature of the tournament, Nadal has been very open about the likelihood of him playing at the Paris major for potentially one final time.

Following his first round victory at the Barcelona Open last month, Nadal said, “If I arrive in Paris like I feel today, I would not go on court. 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.”

However, more recently at the Italian Open Nadal revealed that he was ‘leaning towards’ playing his first Grand Slam tournament in over a year.

And it has since been reported by Spanish newspaper AS that Nadal is planning to continue training at his Mallorcan academy before heading to Paris for Roland Garros next week.

Guarantee your place at Roland-Garros for the last ever appearance of Rafael Nadal where he’ll try to grab a quite unbelievable 15th crown. You can secure the best tickets along with 5* Official Hospitality from our friends at STH Group.

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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.