Rafael Nadal has played down concerns over the chronic foot issue that resurfaced in Rome last week as he prepares to launch his bid for a 14th French Open title.
The Spaniard limped to a third-round loss to Denis Shapovalov at the Italian Open, but practiced in front of thousands of fans at Roland Garros on Wednesday without any obvious discomfort.
“There is nothing to recover,” Nadal told reporters Friday. “What happened in Rome is something that happened very often in my practices.
“I was suffering after that for a couple of days, but I feel better. That’s why I’m here.”
Nadal began the year with a 20-match winning run, capturing a second Australian Open title to claim a record 21st Grand Slam and move ahead of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.
The 35-year-old then missed six weeks with a rib injury sustained during his run to the final in Indian Wells, where he suffered his first loss of the season to Taylor Fritz.
Nadal complained of a recurring foot problem in Rome, but he appears confident it can be managed in Paris.
“The pain is there always. It’s not going to disappear now. It’s about if the pain is high and strong enough to allow me to play with real chances or not,” he said.
“It’s something that I live every day with, so it’s nothing new for me and is not a big surprise.
“So I am here just to play tennis and to try to make the best result possible here in Roland Garros. And if I don’t believe that this thing can happen, probably I will not be here.”…