Rafael Nadal backed to win Roland Garros despite constant battle with injuries

The Spaniard has won record 14 French Open titles

By Web Desk
February 28, 2024
Rafael Nadal poses with his French Open title. — Reuters

Rafael Nadal is finally set to return to the ATP Tour next week and the Spaniard’s uncle and former coach, Toni Nadal, believes that the 22-time Grand Slam can still win Roland Garros.

Nadal endured nearly a year-long hiatus after sustaining a severe tear to his psoas muscle during the 2023 Australian Open, resulting in the 37-year-old plummeting to his lowest ranking since 2002 (No. 672).

His return to action at the ATP 250 event in Brisbane last month saw him secure two victories before encountering a setback in the quarter-finals against Jordan Thompson.

Following this defeat, Nadal disclosed that he had suffered a 'micro tear', although he reassured fans that it was not as severe as his previous injury.

Although initially slated to participate in the Doha tournament last week, Nadal withdrew and is now set to make his comeback at Indian Wells next week.

His coach of 27 years believes that competitive play is essential for Nadal's recovery. "He needs to compete. He has no choice. He hasn't done it for too long. And of course, if you don't compete, you can't be prepared," stated Toni Nadal.

While declining to speculate on Nadal's future in the sport, the 63-year-old did express optimism about the 14-time Roland Garros champion's prospects of adding another title to his illustrious tally.

“Very positive, because after so long without competing, I think he played at a good level [in Brisbane],” said Toni Nadal. “I see him training at the academy and I think that’s how it is.

“I prefer to say that he is going to win [the French Open]. Then we’ll see. I know it’s difficult, but I always try to be positive and I hope that my nephew can play a great role both in the [Olympic] Games and at Roland Garros.”

With several months remaining before Roland Garros commences, Nadal's immediate focus lies on an exhibition match against Carlos Alcaraz in Las Vegas on Sunday, followed by his participation at Indian Wells next week.