Rafael Nadal Shares He Was Aware of Roger Federer’s French Open 2021 Participation Before Official Announcement

Published 04/21/2021, 9:34 AM EDT
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA – FEBRUARY 8 : Roger Federer (R) of Switzerland and Rafael Nadal (L) of Spain play a tennis match at Cape Town Stadium as part of an exhibition game held to support the education of African children, on February 8, 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)


Rafael Nadal has shared his thoughts on the return of old rival and Big 3 peer Roger Federer to Roland-Garros. The current World No.3 said the decision by the champion to come back to a Grand Slam that hasn’t proved anywhere near as lucky and fruitful as the others hasn’t taken him by surprise.

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Speaking to Spanish publication Marçà, Nadal said the return of the 20-time Grand Slam champion to the French Open is a huge “positive” not only for his fans but also for the sport.

The 39-year-old Swiss returned to action after a 14-month break from the Tour to recover from a second knee surgery that he underwent last year.

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Roger Federer recently released an official statement saying he will play French Open 2021

Amid soaring expectations around his return, Federer won his comeback match at ATP Doha against British No.1 Dan Evans but couldn’t progress further. He then pulled out of subsequent events to focus on training and fitness ahead of the grass-court season, or more precisely, Wimbledon.

Though he confirmed participation at the Noventi Open at Halle, Germany, which has been a traditional tune-up event for him ahead of Wimbledon, there was no word on whether he would play any part in the European claycourt leg.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 29: Roger Federer of Switzerland (R) celebrates winning in the Men’s Final match against Raphael Nadal of Spain on day 14 of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 29, 2017, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

However, that was before the 2009 French Open champion put an end to all speculations by making himself available at the claycourt event in Geneva as well as his return to Roland-Garros.

Rafael Nadal says Roger Federer’s French Open return is a positive

Though it’s not known if Nadal had a prior word with Federer about his return to Roland-Garros, the Spaniard said he “knew” about it.

“I knew it before and I think it is positive for him and for tennis in general,” the 13-time French Open champion said.

(Quotes have been translated via Google)

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At an awards show in his homeland towards the close of last year, Federer had set Wimbledon, the Tokyo Olympics and the US Open as his priority events on return.

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While he officially withdrew from this year’s Australian Open just weeks ahead of the tournament, his return to claycourt action remained in the realms of speculation.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

858 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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