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Nadal Tests Injury in Front of Packed French Open Stands

Nadal Tests Injury in Front of Packed French Open Stands

Thursday, 19 May, 2022 - 06:30
Painful exit: Rafael Nadal leaves the court in Rome last week Andreas SOLARO AFP/File

Rafael Nadal tested out his injured foot in his first practice at the French Open on Wednesday without any obvious discomfort.


Nadal, the 13-time champion at Roland Garros, delighted fans who packed two sides of the 15,000-capacity Court Philippe Chatrier in the baking Paris sun, AFP said.


Welcomed by the watching Stefanos Tsitsipas, the world number four who was runner-up at the tournament in 2021, Nadal hit with Spanish compatriot Jaume Munar.


It was the 35-year-old Nadal's first public appearance since suffering a recurrence of a chronic foot injury in his Italian Open third round loss to Denis Shapovalov last week.


"I'm not injured, I am a player living with an injury. That's it," Nadal told reporters in Rome.


"It's something that is there unfortunately and my day by day is difficult. I am trying hard but of course it is difficult for me. A lot of days I can't practice."


On Wednesday, Nadal gave no indication that the effects of the injury had followed him to the French capital as he practiced for two hours.


The Spanish star, chasing a record-extending 22nd Grand Slam title, will learn his first round opponent in Thursday's draw.


Nadal, defeated in the semi-finals by eventual champion Novak Djokovic 12 months ago, has an astonishing record of 105 victories against just three losses at the tournament since his title-winning debut in 2005.


The French Open gets underway on Sunday.


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