Rafael Nadal calls press conference and backed to pull out of French Open

Rafael Nadal has called a press conference for Thursday, his team have confirmed, after reports emerged claiming that the injured Spaniard will miss the upcoming French Open. The defending champion, a 14-time winner of the Grand Slam, is set to confirm whether or not he will play the tournament having not competed once at any event since the Australian Open in January.

Nadal has been sidelined since picking up a psoas injury four months ago. The 36-year-old intended to be back in time for the clay season but has so far missed Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid and Rome.

It has left his French Open participation in doubt, and the 22-time Major champion will officially confirm whether or not he will compete in Paris on Thursday. The Spaniard’s team announced news of a press conference at his Rafa Nadal Academy in a statement.

“Rafa Nadal will hold a press conference tomorrow at 4pm (3pm UK) at the Rafa Nadal Academy by MoviStar to inform about his participation in Roland Garros. If he plays or not and the reasons either way will be only be communicated tomorrow,” it read.

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The press conference was announced on Wednesday after some Spanish outlets started to report that Nadal would miss the French Open for the first time in his career. The 36-year-old previously issued a worrying injury update when he pulled out of last month’s Madrid Masters, in which he confirmed he was starting a new treatment plan.

“The reality is that the situation is not what we had hoped for. All medical directions have been followed, but somehow evolution has not been what we were initially told and we find ourselves in a situation that is difficult,” he said of the injury he has carried since January.

“The injury is still unhealed and I can’t work what I need to compete. I was training, but now a few days ago we decided to change course a bit, do another treatment and see if things improve to try and get to what comes. I can’t give deadlines because if I knew I would tell you but I don’t know. This is the current situation.”

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The world No 14 later withdrew from the Rome Masters but shared a positive update as he revealed that there had been some “improvements” although he wasn’t ready to return to competition.

Since making his main draw debut at the French Open in 2005, Nadal has never missed the tournament altogether. He has only pulled out once – ahead of his third-round match in 2016 when he suffered a wrist injury.

If Nadal misses the French Open, he is expected to drop out of the world’s top 100 as he defends 2,000 ranking points from winning the title 11 months ago. Since lifting the trophy last year, the Spaniard has played just seven tournaments as he has continued to battle several injury setbacks.

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