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Rafael Nadal not ready to commit to French Open

Rafael Nadal not ready to commit to French Open

Rafael Nadal says he is not sure if he will be able to play at next month’s French Open as he continues to deal with pain in his comeback from injury.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion said Wednesday that he is far from being in top form and that he is playing against American Darwin Blanch in the first round of the Madrid Open on Thursday as a personal sacrifice.

“If I was in Paris today, I wouldn’t go out to play,” Nadal, 37, said at a news conference in reference to Roland Garros. “I don’t think I’ll be able to play at 100%, but it’s important to be able to play for the last time in Madrid. It means a lot to me to play on this court where I’ve had some great moments.

“This doesn’t mean I’m giving up on anything in the next few weeks. I don’t know what might happen. Without trying to confuse anyone, I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next three weeks.”

Nadal has long struggled with injuries and has played just five competitive matches this year, three in Brisbane in January and two in Barcelona last week. He has previously signaled that 2024 may be his final year on tour.

“I’m going to do the things I have to do to be able to play in Paris. And if I can, I can, and if I can’t, I can’t,” said Nadal, a 14-time French Open champion. “I’m going to Paris if I feel like I’m good enough. … I’m going to Paris if I feel capable enough to compete.”

Nadal is a record five-time champion in Madrid, with his last title in the Spanish capital coming in 2017.

“The goal is be on court. Enjoy as long as possible,” he said. “I mean, that’s the thing. Try to finish the tournament alive in terms of body issues and enjoy the fact that I will be able to compete one more time in the professional tour and here at home in Madrid, a place that give me everything, no, in terms of support.”

He said he is giving himself “a chance” and hopes to “find better feelings” in his body going forward.

“I don’t lose hope. I just accept the situation that I have today,” Nadal said. “I mean, I am not playing bad. It’s about more body limitations.”

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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