Rafael Nadal's upcoming trial at the French Open: Alex Corretja weighs in

Wednesday, 22 May 2024 at 21:30
As Rafael Nadal prepares to participate in the French Open, his compatriot and former world No. 2 Alex Corretja shared his thoughts on what to expect from the 22-time Grand Slam champion. The acid test for Rafa is just five days away, as he aims to extend his record with a 15th title at Roland Garros.
However, never before in his career has Nadal's presence in Paris been surrounded by so many doubts. The former world No. 1 managed to gain some rhythm in clay tournaments, with a 5-3 record across the Barcelona Open, Madrid Open, and Rome Open. His three losses were against top-35 players, and he secured only one win over a player of that ranking when he avenged his defeat to Alex De Minaur in the second round in Madrid, less than two weeks after losing to the Australian in Barcelona.

Corretja's expectations for Nadal

The two-time French Open finalist responded to an interview with Eurosport, stating that at this point, Nadal has nothing left to prove to anyone and that playing at Roland Garros will be an opportunity for public recognition: "I'm not expecting anything, it's just go play and whatever comes is going to be a gift," Corretja said. "He doesn't need to prove anything else. Not even to himself, not even to the whole world."
"It's going to be a party," Corretja added. "It's going to be something unbelievable and the crowd is going to be crazy with him. That's why we need Rafa in the tournament. I think it's going to be a major thing to have him in Roland-Garros this year."
This will be Nadal's first Grand Slam since the 2023 Australian Open, where he fell in the second round to Mackenzie McDonald, which marked his last match of the season. There is uncertainty about how Nadal's body will respond to the five-set conditions: "We are waiting for Rafael Nadal, yes. Open arms for him," Corretja said. "Everybody is hoping that he's going to be healthy and that we know that he's getting ready."
nadal trophy rg
Nadal's last match at the French Open was the 2022 final, where he swept past Casper Ruud 6-3, 6-3, 6-0.
For now, Nadal has been seen training on the courts of Roland Garros ahead of the tournament. He recently played a practice set against Sebastian Korda and left a good impression by defeating the American 6-3: "He's been practicing on Chatrier to test himself and I think he needs to let it go, just go for everything he has," Corretja continued. "I think it's difficult to talk from the outside, but I hope that he can just go there and just do whatever he can."

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