Laura Robson thinks Rafael Nadal may face more open competition at 2023 French Open

Robson weighs in on Nadal's chances of winning a record 15th French Open title.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Laura Robson thinks Rafael Nadal may face more open competition at 2023 French Open

Laura Robson acknowledged Rafael Nadal's French Open record is absolutely astonishing but noted some players will feel confident they can challenge the Spaniard at Roland Garros this year. Last year, 36-year-old Nadal captured a record 14th French Open title after beating Casper Ruud in the final.

Nadal became a Grand Slam champion at the 2005 French Open and since then he has won 13 more titles at Roland Garros. “It is crazy to even say that he is playing for potential 15th Roland-Garros title. It's mental. The numbers that he's had at Paris, it's like hard to wrap your head around, but I just think he needs matches," Robson told Eurosport.

Robson on Nadal's French Open chances

Nadal hasn't played since the Australian Open due to a hip injury and he is also set to miss the Monte Carlo Masters. While Nadal has been sidelined, younger stars such as Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner have been making some noise.

Daniil Medvedev - who has made the final in each of his five past tournaments - isn't a clay-court specialist but he is in stunning form. Considering the circumstances, Robson believes some players will feel confident they can challenge if they meet the Spaniard at the French Open.

"On the clay, you feel like he's just going to be able to find another gear like he always has done, but there are some more players that mentally feel like they can challenge him. I don't think anyone in previous years felt like they could beat Rafa on clay.

And now there's so much confidence in (Carlos) Alcaraz, (Jannik) Sinner and (Daniil) Medvedev and even a couple of the lower ranked guys who could potentially pull off an upset. The draw is wide open, but for me, it's hard to root against Rafa on clay," Robson said. Nadal's new target for a comeback is the Barcelona Open, which starts on April 17th.

Laura Robson Rafael Nadal French Open
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