Rafael Nadal desperate to avoid French Open humiliation

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Rafael Nadal finds himself in a bit of a strange situation at the moment; not only is he not winning the biggest tournaments at the moment, the former world number one isn't even expected to win them either.

To be fair, the Spaniard has experienced injury hell ever since the conclusion of Wimbledon 2014 last summer. One lengthy wrist injury was followed almost straightaway by a bout of appendicitis; both are injuries which aren't at all helpful for an elite tennis star.

His form either side of the Christmas break was so bad that questions were raised as to whether he would even compete at the Australian Open.


The 28-year-old did indeed battle his way through to appear in Melbourne eventually, but didn't show his best as he stumbled to the last eight before being dispatched by the consistently-good, never-excellent Tomas Berdych.

Normally such a result would come as a travesty to the tennis world, but it barely went-by with a whimper - it highlights the difficulties that the 28-year-old faces in getting back to the level that everybody knows he is capable of.

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For a man so popular on and off-court, it must be very concerning. Now it appears that Nadal is doing everything possible to remain the King of his very own stronghold.

That's right, the clay season will be upon us soon and never has Nadal been less fancied to do well. He's the 'King of Clay', but his reign is likely to face it's biggest uprising this year. Novak Djokovic is always attempting to overthrow his rival and he finally has the form and support to do so in 2015.

The biggest heartbreak for Nadal would be seeing the Serbian star finally lifting the Roland Garros title in Paris this year. Therefore it is unsurprising that he is already taking steps to ensure that it won't happen.


The world number three has already been pictured practicing on the clay courts, not that he tried to hide it. The 14-time Grand Slam champion uploaded a snap of his efforts to his 15 million+ fans on Facebook. His post received over 80,000 likes.

You certainly cannot accuse him of not caring about retaining his pride, as you possibly could with other top-class sportsmen. 

It will be quite some time before we get to see whether his efforts have been worth it. The clay season doesn't fully get into full swing until April, with the culmination at the French Open not beginning until late-May. 

Maybe he's already written-off his traditionally lesser-successful hard-court campaign.

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Rafael Nadal
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