Rafael Nadal unsure of French Open participation after devastating loss

Rafael Nadal has expressed his dissatisfaction with his current tennis form, posing the question of his participation at the upcoming French Open. The 37-year-old Spaniard, who is nursing a surgically-repaired hip, suffered a comprehensive defeat against Hubert Hurkacz in the third round of the Italian Open, losing 6-1, 6-3. This result marked Nadal's most lopsided loss on clay since 2003, raising doubts about his competitiveness at the prestigious Roland Garros tournament, where he holds a record 14 titles.

Nadal stated that he is currently conflicted between two options regarding his French Open participation. He expressed his dissatisfaction with his current form and physical condition, citing too many doubts and unpredictability. However, he also hinted at the possibility of attending the tournament, despite the challenges he may face.

The decision is not yet clear in his mind, but Nadal hinted that his mind leans more toward participating in Roland Garros and giving it his best shot. He cited the event's importance in his tennis career and the challenges of overcoming a competitive opponent like Hurkacz.

Despite the uncertainty, Nadal's presence in Paris could provide a fitting testament to his legendary status at the tournament and his enduring love for the sport. The decision awaits, and so does the chance to witness what could be one last magical moment from an icon of the game.

Meanwhile, world No.1 Novak Djokovic navigated his way safely through rounds 1 and 2 without any major incidents, beating Lorenzo Musetti and Carlos Taberner respectively. However, Djokovic is reportedly wearing a cycling helmet during practice sessions to protect himself from potential projectiles from overexcited fans.

Also, Australian player Alex de Minaur made it through to the third round, beating Roberto Carballes Baena, while Daniil Medvedev defended his title against Jack Draper. The top-seeded players seem to be taking the tournament seriously, with Medvedev and de Minaur looking in particularly strong form.

The tournament's group stages will conclude soon, with the singles and doubles quarterfinals beginning on Sunday. The stakes are high and the players' performances will likely prove crucial in predicting the form guides for the French Open.

Hurkacz, who beat Nadal, will face Tomas Etcheverry in the last eight, while Medvedev will play Lorenzo Sonego and de Minaur will take on Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, setting the tone for what promises to be an exciting week ahead.

Read more