French Open: Rivals Wary of Rafael Nadal Backlash

He may not have had a glittering 2014 season so far but to count Rafael Nadal out as being a bit jaded would be dangerous at the French Open.

updated: May 24, 2014 09:27 IST
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Paris: Rafael Nadal might be seen by some as losing his grip on the French Open crown, but his main rivals for the title don't share that view ahead of Sunday's opening day at Roland Garros.

The 27-year-old Spaniard has been strangely subdued during the long buildup to the consecration of the claycourt tennis season with just the one title to his name - at Madrid when Japan's Kei Nishikori was forced to retire in the final with a back injury.

Quarter-final defeats to David Ferrer in Monte Carlo and Nicolas Almagro in Barcelona were shocking and he was swept aside in the second and third sets by Novak Djokovic in the Rome final last week.

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