Nadal declines WC amid French Open questions

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PARIS — Rafael Nadal has turned down a wildcard offer for next week’s Challenger tournament in Bordeaux, the clay-court event director said Sunday, as the 22-time Grand Slam champion’s participation in the French Open hangs in the balance.

Nadal has been struggling with a hip injury he suffered at the Australian Open in January, and fears he may miss the French Open grew after he pulled out of this week’s Italian Open.

“I offered him (Nadal’s agent Carlos Costa) one of the wildcards,” Jean-Baptiste Perlant told French sports daily L’Equipe. “He very kindly told me that Nadal was continuing his preparation at home in Manacor, that he was not ready and was in a race against time to be ready for the French Open.”

Nadal skipped last week’s Madrid Open and missed tournaments at Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo and Barcelona.

The French Open, which Nadal has won a record 14 times including last year, starts on May 28.

Nadal, 36, has competed at Roland Garros every year since winning the first of his men’s-record 22 major titles in Paris in 2005.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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