Slam legend offers brutal reality on Rafael Nadal's French Open title chances

Nadal's French Open success is well-documented but winning it again at Roland Garros in this situation may be even too much for the Spaniard.

by Dzevad Mesic
Slam legend offers brutal reality on Rafael Nadal's French Open title chances
© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Todd Woodbridge acknowledges Rafael Nadal's French Open success is something "extraordinary" but the former 22-time Grand Slam champion across men's and mixed doubles also notes it will be "pretty tough" for the Spaniard to win it all at Roland Garros this year considering his current situation.

After Nadal's return from hip surgery didn't go as targeted at the start of 2024, the former world No. 1 was able to start his clay season in Barcelona in mid-April despite probably still not being fully ready to play. While Nadal has also managed to play in Madrid and Rome, he admitted to feeling "limited" on the court and he Is just 5-3 so far this clay season.

For Nadal, reaching the Madrid round-of-16 and picking up second-round exits in Barcelona and Rome is a far cry from where he once was with his results heading into the French Open.

"It's pretty tough to win with the lead-up that he's had," Woodbridge told The Age.

"The physical demands on the body, to win seven matches there, is extreme. He hasn't had the miles in the legs that he's used to going into this tournament."

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal © Getty Images Sport - Mike Hewitt

Woodbridge pays the ultimate tribute to Nadal's French Open results

Since winning his first French Open title in his debut 19 years ago, Nadal has won it all at Roland Garros 13 more times and he is now a record 14-time French Open champion. Nadal's French Open success it not only considered one of the greatest tennis records, but also one of the greatest feats in all of sports.

"What Rafa has achieved on clay is extraordinary," Woodbridge said.

"Nobody believed that he could win a tournament as many times on any surface that he has (at Roland-Garros), but to do it on this one, which requires incredible physicality, and probably the strongest mental ability, has highlighted to the tennis community what can be done."

It remains to be seen how far can Nadal go in his likely last French Open campaign.

Rafael Nadal Roland Garros