PARIS — Rafael Nadal turned down a wildcard offer for next week’s Challenger tournament in Bordeaux, the clay-court events director said on Sunday, as the 22-time Grand Slam champion’s participation in the French Open is at stake.
Nadal is struggling with a hip injury he picked up at the Australian Open in January and fears he might miss the French Open grew after he missed the Italian Open this week.
“I offered it to him [Nadal’s agent Carlos Costa] “One of the wildcards,” Jean-Baptiste Perlant told French sports newspaper L’Equipe. “He told me very kindly that Nadal was continuing his preparation at home in Manacor, that he was not ready and was in a race against time to get ready for the French Open.”
Nadal skipped the Madrid Open last week and missed tournaments in Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo and Barcelona.
The French Open, which Nadal has won a record 14 times including last year, begins on May 28th.
Nadal, 36, has competed at Roland Garros every year since winning the first of his record-breaking 22 men’s Major titles in Paris in 2005.
Reuters contributed to this report.