May 18 (Reuters) – Rafa Nadal is set to confirm whether he will defend his French Open title later on Thursday, but fans are disappointed that the Spanish great was not ready to announce his imminent retirement. was perplexed.
Nadal, 36, has not played since January after suffering a hip injury at the Australian Open and is expected to see if he will miss the record-breaking French Open, where he has won 14 titles. ing.
A longtime clay-court season dominator, Nadal has played at Roland Garros every year since becoming the first man to win 22 major titles in Paris in 2005. He overcame a minor injury to his leg to beat Casper Roode in last year’s final.
But he struggled with the latest issue, missing events in Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid and this week’s Italian Open.
A recent video posted on YouTube showing the struggling Spaniard abandoning a practice session prematurely has left fans feeling less than optimistic about his fitness.
On the YouTube page that will stream Nadal’s press conference later on Thursday, fans posted tearful emojis, speculating that Nadal had announced his retirement.
Some commented, ‘Please stop,’ while others said, ‘Tennis isn’t the same without Rafa.’
Nadal’s 14 French Open titles are the most by a single major player. He boasts an astonishing 112-3 record in Paris and is widely regarded as the ‘King of Klee’.
The French Open starts on May 28th.
Reported by Shrivatsa Sridhar, Bangalore and Hritika Sharma, Hyderabad.Editing: Toby Davis
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