Injured Rafael Nadal has offered a hint he will still play French Open

Arteta knows ‘idol’ Nadal would pick Arsenal over Tottenham

Rafael Nadal has offered encouragement that he will be ready to pursue a record-extending 15th French Open title at Roland Garros this summer. However, he has confirmed he will miss the Italian Open, which begins next week in Rome, the final event before the season’s second Grand Slam.

Nadal hasn’t played since suffering a straight-sets defeat to Mackenzie McDonald in the Australian Open second round in January.

During the encounter, the 36-year-old was stifled by a hip injury to the iliopsoas muscle in his left leg and later withdrew from Indian Wells.

With the clay season underway, Nadal has yet to recover, taking to Instagram on Friday afternoon to confirm his absence from Rome.

But he offered a somewhat positive update on his status for the French Open, claiming his condition has improved in recent days.

He wrote: Hello Everyone! “Sorry to announce that I won’t be able to be in Rome.

Madrid Open sees same match happen twice in rare shot at revenge[LATEST]

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Rafa Nadal (@rafaelnadal)

“You all know how much it hurts me to miss another one of the tournaments that have marked my professional and personal career because of all the love and support of Italian fans.

“Despite having noticed an improvement these past few days, it’s been many months since I have not been able to train at a high level, and the process of readaption has its times, and I have no choice but to accept them and keep working.”

If Nadal does make the French Open, it will be the first time in his illustrious career he has entered without competing in a previous clay event on the ATP Tour that season.

Emma Raducanu leaves fans in stitches as Brit confirms latest surgery[LATEST]
Tennis star responds to fan complaining about her ‘giant boobs'[QUOTES]
Two tennis aces, 14, killed in car crash year after Djokovic coin toss[NEWS]

But if he misses the tournament, he will plummet out of the top 100 players in the world.

Nadal is defending 2000 points in Paris after winning last year’s edition, his 22nd and latest Grand Slam.

And even if he was to reach the quarter-finals this year, his current world No 14 ranking wouldn’t be protected, and he’d descend toward the edge of the top 50.

Novak Djokovic will be vying to win a 23rd Slam in France to complete the comeback and edge past Nadal as the most successful tennis star in history.

Source: Read Full Article