Rafael Nadal's French Open absence doesn't affect other players, believes tennis analyst

Rafael Nadal will not play the French Open for the first time since 2004
Rafael Nadal will not play the French Open for the first time since 2004

Tennis analyst Prakash Amritraj recently reflected on Rafael Nadal's withdrawal from the upcoming French Open, saying that the Spaniard's absence from the 2023 French Open will surely affect the fans but will have very little impact on the rest of the players.

Nadal withdrew from this year's edition of the French Open and will be missing the tournament for the first time since 2004. At a press conference held at his tennis academy in Spain, the 14-time French Open winner shed some light on his future and revealed that the 2024 season will probably be his last season on the tour.

Amritraj, leading tennis analyst and travel reporter for Tennis Channel, stated that Nadal and Roland Garros are synonymous, in a recent interview alongside tennis great Martina Navratilova. The Indian-American said that several fans come to Roland Garros hoping to catch the King of Clay play on court.

"As an audience member, look, For countless years, we have always associated Roland Garros with Rafa, and Rafa with Roland Garros. So many people come here just to get that bucket list of being able to catch him on court here."

The veteran continued by saying that while many players in the draw may feel their chances of making it to the final stages of the Major are higher given the former World No. 1's absence, the exceptional level of talent on offer will make life difficult for everyone playing.

"Then on the players' side of things, all of a sudden, emotionally, you just feel, like, 'Wow, you know what? There is a huge big chance,' but I think once you step away from it a little bit, it is just one player among the 128 in the draw," Amritraj said. "And a lot of these others are playing great, and they feel they are playing great tennis and they have a shot at winning, so once you kind of settle in, maybe it doesn't affect them too much as they go after their own glory."

A brief look into Rafael Nadal's 2022 French Open campaign

Rafael Nadal Photocall After French Open Victory
Rafael Nadal Photocall After French Open Victory

Rafael Nadal won his 14th French Open title in 2022. The Spaniard, ranked No. 5 at the time, was seeded No. 5 at the tournament.

Nadal convincingly reached the fourth round of the campaign without losing a set. He then met ninth-seed Felix Auger-Aliassime next round, beating the Canadian 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, to set up a mouth-watering clash with Djokovic.

In the quarterfinals,the former World No. 1 handled the Serbian's relentless pressure well to eventually win the tie 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(4). In the semifinals against Alexander Zverev, the Spaniard won the first set before the German was forced to retire in the second set due to an injury.

Up against Casper Ruud in the final, Rafael Nadal registered a bagel against the Norwegian in the third set to win the title by beating Ruud 6-3, 6-3, 6-0.

What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here

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Edited by Siddharth Dhananjay
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