Rafael Nadal admits he is ‘living with an injury’ as concerns grow ahead of French Open
The 35-year-old was knocked out of the Italian Open by Denis Shapovalov in three sets, with the injury clearly hampering Nadal from midway through the match as the Candadian secured a 1-6 7-5 6-2 victory. This was only Nadal’s second tournament since returning from a stress fracture to his ribs.
The Spaniard missed much of last season due to a chronic foot injury, before mounting incredible comeback as he enjoyed a stellar start to 2022. Nadal won his first 20 matches of the year, lifting the title at the Australian Open before enjoying further success in Acapulco.
But there are real fitness concerns now on his favoured clay-courts, ahead of the French Open, which he has won 13 times, getting underway on May 22.
“What can happen in the next couple of days, I don’t know. What can happen in one week, I really don’t know now,” Nadal said after losing to Shapovalov.
“It’s the time to accept the situation and fight. That’s it. I don’t know if rest, I don’t know if maybe practice. But I still have a goal in one week and a couple of days. I’m going to keep dreaming about that goal.
“First thing that I need to do is to don’t have pain to practise, that’s it. It’s true that during the French Open, Roland Garros, I’m going to have my doctor there with me. That sometimes helps because you can do things.
“In the positive days and in the negative days, you need to stay and to value all the things that happened to me in a positive way. Then days like today, just accept and try to keep going even if sometimes it’s not easy for me.”
He added: “I am a player living with an injury, it is nothing new. It’s something that is there.”