Rafael Nadal to hold press conference amid reports of French Open withdrawal

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Rafael Nadal will announce whether he intends to defend his French Open title next month at a press conference on Thursday.

The 14-time champion at Roland Garros has not played since suffering a hip injury at the Australian Open in January and there have been reports in Spain that the 36-year-old is set to withdraw from the tournament.

Nadal has recently pulled out of tournaments at Madrid, Monte Carlo and Rome while he continues his recovery.

The French Open main draw begins in Paris on Sunday 28 May, and Nadal has yet to announce whether he will enter one of the warm-up events in Lyon or Geneva that will be held next week and before the second major of the year.

The Spaniard will give an update on his plans at the Rafael Nadal Academy in Manacor at 4pm local time, according to a press release from his team.

“If he plays [the French Open] or not and the reasons either way will only be communicated tomorrow,” the statement said.

Nadal defeated Casper Ruud in last year’s final at Roland Garros to win his 14th French Open title and a record 22nd grand slam.

The Spaniard is now level with Novak Djokovic on 22, following the Serbian’s victories at Wimbledon and the Australian Open, and it was hoped the two could compete for a record-setting crown in Paris over the coming weeks.

Nadal has slipped out of the world’s top 10 for the first time since 2005 due to being sidelined by his hip injury since January.