Rafa Roundup: Fears for Nadal’s Roland Garros campaign

Photo via Madrid Open


“It’s obviously a possibility for him not to be able to be fit to come here to Roland Garros,” Mauresmo said in an interview with BBC Sport on the Philippe Chatrier Court where Nadal beat Casper Ruud in last year’s final.

“But the only thing I know for sure is that if there is one tournament he doesn’t want to miss, it is this one. We are still five weeks away from the main draw. I am still hopeful, and I’ll keep my fingers crossed. It will be hard [to imagine Roland Garros without him]. It would be hard if he doesn’t come, to be honest. He’s so much part of the history of the tournament for the last almost 20 years – it would be sad. But I am someone that is positive so I’m going to hope that things are going to get better for him.”

The bigger problem will be a lack of tennis generally. Last season when Nadal did it, for all he missed some time with an injury he had still played plenty of tennis. He arrived at Roland Garros having already played six tournaments. As things stand, Nadal has played just four matches this year.

In fact, you can take it even further back and note that the Spaniard has played just 13 matches in the last ten months. He lost eight of them. That will be a monumental obstacle to overcome.

At the end of the day, we are talking about Rafael Nadal and Roland Garros here. You cannot rule anything out, including the superhuman. Right now, though, tennis heads towards the showpiece of the clay season without its King, and no one really knows what that is going to look like for the Kingdom.

“I would never have said in my life that I was the favorite against Nadal in Paris, I simply commented that I was looking competitive and we were having a great game,” Zverev said.

“If my words were reproduced literally by the press, I would be much more open to talk, but if every time I say something, it is going to be misrepresented to make it more sellable and create a false story, I will limit myself to being politically correct and say the same as the rest,” he added.

It was that doubt, which Federer didn’t feel against anyone else, that made the difference. At the time, the questions surrounding this match, and every match these two played on clay, were Federer-centric. What was he doing wrong? Why couldn’t this all-time great beat this one young, stubborn opponent? From the distance of 17 years, though, the perspective has shifted in Nadal’s direction. We know now why Federer couldn’t solve Rafa on clay. Nobody could, or would.

Social media related to Rafa:

Fernando Verdasco to Rafa: “You are the biggest LEGEND no matter what and hopefully we can see you back on the court soon.


  1. Betty, with all due respect to a 20 year Rafa fan, it is not foolish for Rafa to withdraw from events that he planned to play from the beginning of the year. Foolish would be trying to play without the injury being healed and adequate preparation.

    Rafa has always trusted his Barcelona doctors who have been right on the money over the years. They said it was a 6-8 week injury. So Rafa is dealing with something completely unexpected.

    Of all the players on the tour, Rafa has earned the right to deal with the injury as he deems best and make his own decisions about his career and personal life.

    • I agree David. Rafa is no-one’s fool. He knows what he is doing and is surrounded by good people whom he trusts. Rafa will know when it is time to retire and all Rafafans will be very sad when that time comes. In the meantime, his genuine fans will stand by him and trust in his judgement. He will return when he is ready, not before. Fingers crossed, we will get to see him play well again, sooner rather than later. I do fear it may not be in time to play the French this year though, which will be very disappointing for him and for us. We just have to hope and pray for the best.

      The one plus in all of this for Rafa is that this enforced lay-off has enabled him to spend some quality time with baby Rafa. I am sure he will be enjoying that, despite this injury set-back. Men’s tennis is just not the same without Rafa and never will be the same for me when he does retire, sadly. I have hardly watched a men’s tennis match this year!

  2. Why doesn’t Rafa just retire a champ. He can’t beat the big guys anymore and damaging his body even more. He won’t even be able to play tennis with his son. Federer did it. And all the other big champs. It’s foolish to keep signing up and dropping out. I was number one fan for 20 years. Have all his memorabilia Never missed a match of his. And all the reruns. I adore him. But time to go home to his family, enjoy his yacht and academy and yacht and all he’s worked so hard for all his life. Play poker Be a dad. He is beginning to look foolish.
    Sorry. He has earned such respect and adoration. Let it go. Move on.

    • You have zero idea what he’s dealing with. None of us do. If he wants to come back and his body is able why not? He has done it before after injury. He can do it again. He’s not your average sportsman. He is the elite of the elite. He can do things you or I cannot fathom. Let’s see how HE decides to play out his career. Vamos, Rafa. No one is praying for you and cheering for you harder than your true fans around the world who just want you holding another trophy with a healthy body.

    • Wow… that’s quite a statement you just made Betty… I know everyone has a right to their opinion and you certainly have expressed it…
      Who are you to say he can’t beat the big guys anymore… Who are the big guys? Rafa, Roger, and Novak …THEY were the big guys!! The rest of the field are good players but I believe Rafa healthy can beat them all. We saw what Rafa did a year ago in Australia… Is Daniel Medvedev a big guy? Rafa down 2 sets came back to destroy him in 5…
      And then, to say “he won’t even be able to play with his son” how dare you! Are you his doctor? You call yourself a fan and make a statement like that? At the end of the day Betty, you want to slam Rafa and say he should do this or he should do that..hes looking foolish and he should let it go, move on…Then I will answer that with I believe you Betty should do just that, You have obviously given up on him, so please do not say you adore him…
      As Jill has stated “You have zero idea what he’s dealing with. None of us do. If he wants to come back and his body is able why not? He has done it before after injury. He can do it again.”

      I’ll never give up on Rafa… When he decides to walk away, then I will accept it and thank him for every moment of happiness he has given me for 20 years…. But until that day comes, I will support him…always and forever….

  3. Last year, Nadal almost need one foot be!ow the ankle amputation. This year, he needs some sort of stem cell injection to heal the connected tissue near his rib area, the one that he needs to serve and hit with a twisted action. Nadal is now an injured person playing tennis, not a tennis player playing injured.

  4. Don’t be in such a hurry…to write him off completely. If Rafa can, he will. For pitys’ sake it’s good positive vibes that man needs to see from his “fans”. He is low enough without every blessed piece of paparazzi pontificating..give Rafa encouragement instead. Vamos our Champion 🇪🇦🇪🇦🇪🇦☘☘☘☘

  5. Everyone counted Roger out, he proved them all wrong. Going back further, the same was said of Andre Agassi. Even if Rafa is out for this entire season, he’ll be back. Not just back but back at number one in the world, which he is, whether he’s playing or not. He’s my number one. Always and forever will be.

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