Australian tennis legend Todd Woodbridge fears there is a good chance of Rafael Nadal missing this year's French Open. Nadal, 36, suffered a psoas muscle injury during his Australian Open second-round defeat to Mackenzie McDonald.
Nadal was initially expected to be out for six to eight weeks but it has been three months since the Spaniard last played. The general expectation was that Nadal would be ready to kick off his clay season at the Monte Carlo Masters.
But so far this clay season, Nadal pulled out of the Monte Carlo Masters, Barcelona Open and Madrid Masters. "I am starting to feel we're not going to see him at Roland-Garros, not going to defend his title which would be enormous if that happened.
There is one tournament left for him to play, that is Rome, to get some matches. If he doesn't get to Rome and get tennis under his belt, I cannot imagine that he would put that record on the line of how fantastic he's been at winning Roland-Garros by going there and losing early," Woodbridge said on Nine's Sunday Sports.
Woodbridge fears Nadal could skip the French Open
"What's happened over the last couple of years now, is that he's come back from injury and done well. At the Australian Open he was coming back from injury again and he got something completely new.
I think he's starting to think, 'I don't know if my body can take this any more' Let's not forget he's had a baby now, he's been at home, he's got a yacht down there in Mallorca or wherever it may be - life's pretty good.
It's going to be hard to keep pushing to get back," Woodbridge added. Last year, Nadal was dealing with foot pain caused by the Mueller-Weiss syndrome just weeks before the start of the French Open. For two weeks straight during the French Open, Nadal was taking anti-inflammatories and injections to completely numb the pain in his leg. It remains to be seen if Nadal can again somehow pull off a miracle and win the French Open.