WATCH: Nadal Hints At Wimbledon Absence In Preparation For Paris Olympics

WATCH: Nadal Hints At Wimbledon Absence In Preparation For Paris Olympics

by Nurein Ahmed

For most players who have exited Roland Garros, preparations for the grass-court season have begun, but not for Rafael Nadal, who is still practicing on clay.

Nadal suffered a historic defeat at the 2024 French Open. He lost to fourth seed Alexander Zverev in the first round in straight sets. It was the first time in the Spaniard's career that he had lost an opening match at the clay-court Grand Slam.

The 22-time major champion had reservations about his form and fitness level before the tournament, but he was still very impressed by how he competed, to the extent that he declined the farewell ceremony from the tournament organizers.

That is because Nadal was encouraged by his performance in the match against Zverev and even served for the second set only to lose it in a tie-break. He refrained from confirming whether this was actually his last appearance at the tournament or his final season on the ATP Tour.

He is still hoping to squeeze out some juice from his 38-year-old knees and remains one of the most resilient competitors in tennis, having battled two career-threatening hip injuries in the last 15 months.

But as the tennis players transition from clay to grass courts in preparation for the third Grand Slam of this season at Wimbledon, Nadal is still on clay courts.

There's a very good reason for that. This year's Olympic Games will be contested at Stade Roland Garros on July 27th, which is around seven weeks after the French Open ends.

Nadal has made it clear that he wants to be in Paris once again to compete for a second gold medal in singles competition, having won at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

In a recent video shared on social media, he is seen practicing at the Rafa Nadal Academy on clay, getting himself fit for the Olympic Games at the end of July, where he will use a protected ranking to play.


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