“2020 was a lesson about any prediction about Rafael Nadal” French Open tournament director refuses to rule out the Spaniard as a title favourite

Amelie Mauresmo, tournament director of the French Open refuses to rule out an injured Rafael Nadal as one of the title contenders of this year's Roland Garros.

Rafael Nadal with the 2020 French Open trophy, Amelie Mauresmo
Rafael Nadal with the 2020 French Open trophy, Amelie Mauresmo

21-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal will soon take the court in his bid for a record-extending 22nd Grand Slam title and 14th French Open title. With the 2022 French Open set to begin on 22nd May in Paris, Nadal will look to reclaim his crown at the Roland Garros where he has won 13 of the last 17 editions.

However, the confidence in backing Nadal is shaken for many tennis fans as the Spaniard was last seen limping and in visible pain during his 3rd round exit at the 2022 Rome Masters where he was the defending champion. The foot injury was picked by Nadal in last year’s French Open and that resulted in him playing only one more tournament throughout the season.

Despite nursing the injury, Amelie Mauresmo, the tournament director of the French Open has not made the bold call to proclaim some other player as the champion for this year’s edition. When the 2020 season was disrupted due to the Pandemic and the French Open was played in the second half, Nadal was not seen as a contender due to the change in conditions.

He however went on to win the major without dropping a set and Mauresmo, a 2-time Grand Slam champion and former World No. 1 has stopped making any predictions on the King of Clay.

“Nadal knows himself very well. He has been playing most of his career with this (injury) and he managed it well obviously. In Rome, we saw that it could come over and grow very quickly even during a match. I can’t predict the future. Looking at the practices, he seems okay, but a tournament is another story. I remember 2020. It was a lesson about any prediction about Nadal, especially about his good or bad preparation.

“Playing conditions were supposed to disturb him, with the autumn and the rain, heavy clay, indoor clay most of the time, balls arguably too heavy for him and yet he didn’t lose a set. I stop (making) predictions on Nadal. When he’s here, most of the time, things are going very okay for him,” said Mauresmo as per Tennis Majors.

Also Read: Novak Djokovic sends warning to rivals after tough Roland Garros draw, says “last year was toughest of slam I won”

“Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic”: Amelie Mauresmo on her top two picks for the major

Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Carlos Alcaraz
Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Carlos Alcaraz

With Nadal, defending champion Novak Djokovic and young title contender Carlos Alcaraz in the same half of the draw, Nadal and Novak could meet in the quarter-finals and the winner of the clash will take on the winner of the other quarter-final predicted between Alcaraz and the last year’s semi-finalist Alexander Zverev.

“Nadal and Djokovic are still above in my eyes, even if he (Nadal) pushes behind. See an eventual match in quarters, yes it’s early. I’m not sure I am placing Carlos Alcaraz behind them. For me, Tsitsipas, runner-up in 2021 and two-time Monte-Carlo winner, has showed a lot already. If the bookmakers place Nadal Djokovic and Alcaraz on the same line? Ok (smiling to let the media know she disagrees),” added Mauresmo during her interaction with the press.

Also Read: Rafael Nadal handed the toughest Roland-Garros draw as he faces Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz on his way to final

Also Read: ‘F***ed up the draw’ Twitter slams French Open authorities for keeping Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Carlos Alcaraz in the same half of the draw

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