Alex Corretja is a former tennis player who expressed his opinion about Rafael Nadal’s decision to withdraw from Roland Garros. The tennis world was stunned by the ‘King of Clay,’ Rafael Nadal’s decision to skip the French Open and hint at a possible comeback in 2024.
Rafael Nadal announced his withdrawal from the upcoming French Open on Thursday at the Rafa Nadal academy by Movistar. The Spaniard, who has won 14 Roland Garros titles in his impressive career, will miss the tournament for first time since 2005. Since his Australian Open second round exit, the 22 Grand Slams winner hasn’t played a match. Nadal, who has been plagued by persistent problems following his iliopsoas injuries, has stopped all of his activities this year. He indicated that 2024 would be his seemingly last’ performance on the pro tour.
Alex Corretja, who spoke to Eurosport about the upcoming championship in Paris and the absence of their favorite player, expressed his thoughts. Alex Corretja stated that the championship won’t be the same without the’star’ player.
It’s a bit strange. It is very strange to not have Rafa at Roland-Garros. It will be strange to go to Roland-Garros without Rafa”, he said to Eurosport.
“I feel empty. Roland-Garros will not be the same with Rafa gone. I think it’s impossible to replicate what he achieved in the tournament. “I was hoping that he would have some warm-up matches, but given his decision, it shows he wasn’t ready for the best-of-5-set matches”, Corretja stated.
The former tennis player, when asked about Nadal’s anticipated comeback in 2024 he supported the decision of his fellow countryman and said that he needed time to recover and recharge.
“I understand his decision completely and I believe it’s very smart, because he is doing everything he can to prepare for the clay court season. “If he feels he will not be able to compete at Roland Garros, then I think that it’s time for him to reset and refresh so he can recover properly in the future”, Corretja added.
“He says, ‘Okay. If I can come back physically and mentally, I’ll be ready. But that’s the end. That’s my last dance.’ He can see that his body is in pain, and I love this decision. He should be able to attend every tournament and have everyone give him credit for what he’s done over the years. It would be amazing because 2024 will be the year that we all remember when Rafa finishes his career. “Hopefully he’ll be in good health for that”, Corretja added.
Nadal had earlier withdrawn from the ATP Tours of Monte-Carlo and Barcelona, the Italian Open , as well as the Italian Open .
Rafael Nadal’s shock withdrawal from Roland Garros
Rafael Nadal shocked the tennis community when he announced his absence from the French Open. The 36-year old has not been seen on the court since the Australian Open. Nadal had been preparing for his long-awaited return to Paris after withdrawing from Monte Carlo and Barcelona. The recovery of the Spaniard from his iliopsoas injuries will take longer than anticipated.
“I worked as hard as I could every day for the past four months. The last four months have been difficult because we couldn’t find a solution to my problem in Australia. Today, I still don’t feel ready to compete to the level that I would need to to play at Roland Garros. Nadal stated that he would not be the one to go to Roland Garros, and that he wouldn’t want to put himself in a position where he didn’t enjoy being [in ]”.
The 22 Grand Slams winner added that despite his absence, this tournament will continue as the “best” championship on clay.
“Of Course [there will be] super interesting matches [in] the [tournament] that I’ll be happy to watch and my speech [will not] change now [from] two years ago, when Novak did not play in Australia. Tournaments last forever. “Players come and go, so Roland Garros is always Roland Garros, with or without Nadal, no doubt”.
The Roland Garros tournament will continue to be the premier clay event and one Roland Garros winner will emerge. “It’s not me, there’s going to another one. That’s the way it is”, he added.
Nadal’s 14th Roland Garros crown was won in 2022 after he defeated Casper Ruud by straight sets.