Rafa Roundup: ‘Nadal will defend his title at the French Open this year’

Photo by Mine Kasapoglu/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


“If you want to beat Rafa at Roland-Garros, when you are going out to the match, you are thinking, ‘OK, I’m going to have to play the best match of my life for at least four-and-a-half hours because even though I’m playing great, he will play unbelievable back’,” Ruud said on the latest episode of Ruud Talk, which aired on Friday.

“If I play well, he [Nadal] plays well, so it’s going to be a long match. Not many players are prepared to do that I think and that’s why you have seen some of the clay court players be so successful on clay.”

Can Nadal, who will turn 37 in two months, rise from the ashes of injury again? If he does, will it be the final time? If he doesn’t, can a Djokovic-Alcaraz-Tsitsipas trivalry produce the same sustained intensity from April to June that we’ve taken for granted since 2006?

… This is the season that Rafa built. By dominating clay and Roland Garros so thoroughly, he’s hasn’t made them boring. Instead, he’s raised both of them in significance. We should enjoy what he brings to spring for as long it lasts, and know that the surface and the season will live on without him.

“The current 2023 Pure Aero range is designed for spin and control by having a less stiff frame and a slightly closed string pattern,” Olivier Carlier, Babolat’s tennis product expert, tells me. “The new Pure Aero Rafa range is designed for spin and power by having a stiffer shaft with a slightly more open string pattern.”

And if that wasn’t enough, fans of Nadal can go all-in on his near-exact specs with the Origin frame. “The Pure Aero Rafa Origin is as close to Rafa’s current specs as possible,” Carlier says. “The only difference between the Origin and the Pure Aero Rafa is the weight and a more open string pattern.”

VIDEO: Rublev and Thiem feel Rafa will defend his title at the French Open this year

Social media related to Rafa:

  • Patrick Mouratoglou thinks Rafa will be ready to compete at his highest level in Paris:

“He knows if there is one he can win, it’s this one, more than any other. So all his program, whatever he’s done since the Australian Open, his number one goal is to win Roland Garros. So he will be ready. Rafa is a player that progresses match after match. He needs matches. The older he gets, the less matches he needs because the more he’s mastering his game. Most important for him will be movement, because it’s the base of his game. Originally, a player who was defending a lot, he’s not anymore. He has developed a lot of weapons. But still, movement is the base of his game.”


  1. Tershia…. At this time, a statement has been released that Rafa will defend his title at Roland Garros… That is his intention, as he is working towards that goal…
    RG begins May 28th… Things can change between now and then….One never knows…

    For now, let’s just go with it ….as I prefer to envision Rafa walking out onto Chatrier to a standing O and thunderous applause that lasts minutes as he goes to his chair… arranges his bags…takes out his racket…arranges his towels….places his 2 bottles exactly the way he wants it…. and goes out on court to loosen up against his opponent….

    Yes…. I prefer to think about that….


  2. We all hope he will be 100% fit to play and be at his best, but the most important thing is his health😊.

  3. Really hoping that Rafa has healed well and if so, cannot wait to see him play and defend his title. Tennis is not the same without him, Vamos King 💕

  4. Rafa and his team will decide if he is fit and ready to compete at Roland Garros .Let’s hope so.

  5. So what is the truth – Is Nadal in or out ? There are conflicting reports about whether he will play or not.

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