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Will Rafael Nadal play French Open 2024? Latest news on tennis great’s Roland-Garros plans after Italian Open defeat | Sporting News

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Rafael Nadal is expected to retire from tennis after the 2024 season, making this year something of a farewell tour for the 22-time grand slam champion.

The Spaniard has seen his body betray him in recent years as injuries have taken their toll, but he has been determined to end his astonishing career on a high — and perhaps with one more major title to his name.

Nadal’s greatest achievements have come at the French Open, where he has enjoyed a level of dominance never seen before at the highest level of the sport. The 37-year-old has been playing as much of the European clay-court season as possible in order to get ready for Roland-Garros, but his Italian Open campaign was ended in rather ignominious fashion on May 11 as he lost a one-sided contest to Hubert Hurkacz.

After that match, Nadal admitted he has some uncertainty about his capabilities of playing at the French Open
against the very best in the world

. Will we see him take to the Paris dirt one last time?

MORE:
Who has won the most grand slam titles in tennis history?

Will Rafael Nadal play French Open 2024?

As things stand, Rafael Nadal intends to play at the 2024 French Open, although his plans may change depending on how he recovers from playing in Rome.

Speaking after his win over Zizou Bergs in the first round of the Italian Open, the Spaniard stressed that he was playing to see how well his body would hold up to the rigours of a grand slam.

“[Now] arrive[s] the moment that I need to try, I need to go for everything,” he said. “I have Roland Garros in just two weeks and a half, so… [I] arrive at a moment that I need to prove myself if I am able to push my body to the limit, that I need to push to feel myself ready for what’s coming.”

Nadal was beaten by Hubert Hurkacz 6-1 6-3 in the second round in Rome, after which he said: “Now is two ways: probably, one is to say, ‘Okay, I am not ready, I am not playing enough well’ [to play at the French Open]. Then is the moment to take a decision in terms of not playing Roland Garros. Another is accept how I am today and work the proper way to try to be in a different way in two weeks.

“The decision, as you can imagine, is not clear in my mind today. But if I have to say what’s my feeling and if my mind is closer one way or the other way, I’m going to say [I will] be in Roland-Garros and try my best.

“Physically, I have some issues, but not probably yet enough to say not playing in the most important event of my tennis career. Let’s see what’s going on, how I feel myself mentally tomorrow, after tomorrow, and in one week. If I feel ready, I’m going to try to be there and fight for the things that I have been fighting the last 15 years, [even] if now [it] seems impossible.”

When does the French Open 2024 start?

The 2024 French Open starts on Monday, May 20, and runs through until the final on Sunday, June 9.

The draw for the tournament has not yet taken place, so the schedule is not yet available.

How many times has Rafael Nadal won the French Open?

Nadal has won the French Open singles title a record 14 times. He has never lost a final at the tournament.

Since 2003, when he first appeared in a grand slam (Wimbledon and the US Open), the Spaniard has only missed the tournament at Roland-Garros three times: in 2003, 2004, and 2023.

In every other year in that time span, Nadal has only failed to win the trophy four times. Novak Djokovic is the only man in history to have beaten Nadal on the clay courts of Paris more than once.

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