Australia; Rafael Nadal during his second round match at the 2023 Australian Open. / Mike Frey-USA TODAY Sports

Rafael Nadal is likely in his last season of his professional tennis career, and now his chances of playing at the French Open next month are decreasing.

Ahead of his round one match at the Madrid Open set for Thursday vs. Darwin Blanch, Nadal admitted he doesn’t feel 100% still. He’s been recovering from various hip and abdominal injuries since the beginning of 2023. This will be just his third tournament this year.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion wants to feel 100%, or close to it, when the French Open rolls around on Monday, May 20, so he may end up backing out depending how he feels.

“If I arrive Paris the way I feel today, I will not play,” Nadal said in his press conference. “I will play Roland Garros if I feel competitive. If I can play, I play. If I can’t play, I can’t. It won’t be the end of the world or the end of my career. I still got goals after Roland Garros, like the Olympics.”

While Nadal hasn’t confirmed a retirement plan, he hinted that this year is his last once again during his Wednesday press conference.

“I don’t think I will be able to play at 100%, but it means a lot to me to play in Madrid for one last time in my career,” Nadal said. “It’s a special place and court for me.”

Nadal has a record 14 titles from Roland Garros, and he is often referred to as the “King of Clay.” It would be devastating to fans if he missed the Grand Slam tournament in what will likely be his last time playing there.

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