Nadal to reveal French Open decision amid injury concerns

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won his 14th French Open title last year

Rafael Nadal will announce whether he will compete at the French Open on Thursday, amid a long-term injury scare and some Spanish reports that he will withdraw.

The 22- Grand Slam winner struggled to recover from a hip injury suffered at the Australian Open in January and has not played since.

“If he plays or not and the reasons will be announced tomorrow,” a spokesman for Nadal said on Wednesday.

Nadal will speak at 4pm time (1400 GMT) on Thursday at his Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca.

The 36-year-old Spaniard pulled out of the Barcelona and Madrid Open tournaments among others in the run-up to Roland Garros, and earlier in May confirmed he would not take part in the Italian Open.

The French Open, which he has won a record 14 times, begins in Paris on May 28.

Nadal's struggles with fitness over the years have raised widespread doubts about his career. He has competed in just four matches in 2023, winning only once.

The superstar had hoped for a record-extending 23rd Grand Slam battle with Novak Djokovic in Paris after the Serb leveled the match by winning the Australian Open.

“It depends whether Nadal plays or not,” Djokovic joked this week when asked whether the French Open would be the most open for two decades.

Nadal turned down an offer of a wildcard for a Challenger tournament in Bordeaux next week as he tries to win his race to make Roland Garros.

He has participated in the tournament in France every year since 2005, which was the first time he won it.

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The current world No. 14, who turns 37 in June, has lost at the French Open only three times since his debut in the tournament.

In 2016, he was forced to withdraw from the tournament before the third with a wrist injury.

Nadal has never played at the French Open without a warm-up event on clay.

The Spaniard's last match was a straight sets loss to American Mackenzie McDonald in the second round of the Australian Open.

The veteran had pulled out of hard-court tournaments in the US in March, aiming to start the clay court season, but his injury recovery has not progressed as planned.

Earlier in May, Nadal said his injury had improved with a new treatment, but not enough to be able to play in Rome this week.

Physical problems have plagued Nadal throughout his illustrious career and there are fears they could end it soon.