Ex-Slam semifinalist warns why Rafael Nadal cannot be ruled out at 2024 French Open

Many wonder if Nadal will be a legitimate title contender at the 2024 French Open.

by Dzevad Mesic
Ex-Slam semifinalist warns why Rafael Nadal cannot be ruled out at 2024 French Open
© Getty Images Sport - Ryan Pierse

Former six-time Grand Slam semifinalist Tim Henman warns that Rafael Nadal can never be counted out at the French Open considering his astonishing record at Roland Garros. Nadal, 37, is coming off surgery and a long injury break that saw him sidelined for 12 months.

Ahead of Nadal's 2024 comeback, some fear this may be the time when the Spaniard does not return to winning Grand Slams. Even Nadal himself has been saying throughout the year that expecting him to win Grand Slams in his return may be a bit unrealistic. 

Henman agrees it won't be easy for Nadal to return to winning Slams but believes the record 14-time French Open champion could potentially be a major threat at Roland Garros and the 2024 Paris Olympics. 

Henman: Nadal at Roland Garros is just the favorite 

“I think when you put Rafa Nadal and Roland Garros in the same sentence, Rafa's just the favorite. If he was playing paddle tennis and you said, ‘Oh, where is it?’ They'd say it's at Roland Garros and you would say Rafa's the favorite. You could make a case for the Grand Slams with the best of five. He's so difficult to beat on clay, first and foremost. But then when you've got to win three sets, not just two sets, so few people have been able to do it. You wonder whether in the Olympics because it's best of three, then it takes a little bit less out of him, whether that aids his recovery. But look, with his record, and I'm sure the confidence that he gains when he walks through the gates at Roland Garros, he's going to want to be at the Grand Slam and at the Olympics, and I'd love to see him win one of those or both of those. It would be an incredible story," Henman told Eurosport.

In 2022, many thought it would be impossible for Nadal to win the French Open since he was battling a rib and foot issue just before the start of the French Open. Still, Nadal did the impossible and ended up winning his 14th French Open title. It remains to be seen if Nadal can do something similar in 2024.

Rafael Nadal French Open