Nadal 'Not A Contender' To Win French Open Again Says Serena Williams' Former Coach

Nadal 'Not A Contender' To Win French Open Again Says Serena Williams' Former Coach

by Nurein Ahmed

Rafael Nadal is preparing to launch a fresh bid to win an astonishing 15th French Open title, but according to Rick Macci, his chances of contending for the clay major are extremely low.

Nadal will be 38 when the 2024 Roland Garros enters a second week. He has confirmed his participation in the second Grand Slam of the season. And by using a protected ranking, the king of clay will be unseeded.

That means Nadal could potentially draw any of the Top 32 seeds in the first round, including the likes of Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, and the Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner.

For nearly two decades, the Spaniard has reigned supreme at the French Open, winning a record haul of 14 titles. His 112-3 record at the event is as dominant as they come, and no player has mastered the geometry of Philippe Chatrier quite like him.

But 2024 is probably one of the only times, along with his inconsistent 2015 season, that Nadal will not be considered a clear-cut favorite to win the French Open.

Serena Williams' ex-coach, Rick Macci, told Sportskeeda in an exclusive interview that Nadal's physical struggles will restrict him from winning this year.

"First off – the King of Clay, the best claycourt player to ever hold a racket; 112-3 at the French Open – are you kidding me? If you are 112-3 at anything, you’re amazing let alone pro tennis."

"But yes. Rafa doesn’t quite move like I’ve seen him move in the past. And even in the Grand Slams - now you’re playing the best of five."

The 2022 French Open title remains the last of Nadal's Grand Slam crowns. He became the all-time record holder among the men at the time with 22 majors before his longtime rival Djokovic eclipsed him during his absence last year.

Nadal has recovered from two hip injuries and will return in time to play Roland Garros in what could be his final tournament on tour. But Macci can't see the legendary Spaniard enjoying a fairytale sendoff, believing he is no longer invincible.

"That invincibility is kinda over, alright? He still - on clay, if his health is good - and it’s all about his health - he can still be a rough out for anybody. But as a contender, I can’t see it. He hasn’t played enough. The fear factor’s kinda gone."


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