13-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal will kick off his 18th Roland Garros appearance against Jordan Thompson on Monday in the opening round of the 2022 edition of the Grand Slam tournament in Paris. Ahead of the quest for a 14th title race, the 35-year-old Spaniard put all the speculations surrounding participation due to chronic foot injury to rest as he arrived at Roland Garros on Wednesday.
The King of Clay was given a warm welcome at the Philippe Chatrier Stadium with a sound of a massive roar as fans surrounded the champion tennis player. Sharing the same video on Instagram, Nadal thanked his supporters for showing extreme love and support.
Taking to Instagram ahead of the French Open 2022, Nadal shared a video where his fans gathered around the ‘King of Clay’ as he left Roland Garros following Friday’s practice session. “Thank you, Paris ❤️ Gracias 🇫🇷 Very touched for your support before starting this @rolandgarros Thank you very much ☺️😘,” wrote Nadal.
Later, while speaking to the media ahead of the tournament, the Spaniard said, “There is nothing to recover. What happened in Rome is something that happens frequently in my practice sessions. But I feel better now. That’s why I am here. The pain is constant now. I am not going to get rid of it very soon. It’s about if the pain is intense enough to allow me to play with real chances or not.”
Nadal also added that he had lived everyday with it, and it was not a big surprise for him. “So I am here to play tennis and try to extract the best possible result in Roland Garros. And the day I feel that’s not possible, I will not be here,” the 13-time French Open champion added.
Commenting on the highly competitive draw, including Nadal, defending champion Djokovic and new teenage star Carlos Alcaraz, Spaniard said, “In terms of tennis, of course, the top of the draw you see the names, of course, is a challenging one. But we are in a Grand Slam, and you never know what can happen.”