Tennis: 'I almost destroyed wrist at French Open,' says Nadal

Rafael Nadal of Spain returns the ball during a training session few days ahead of the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France on May 25, 2017.
Rafael Nadal of Spain returns the ball during a training session few days ahead of the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France on May 25, 2017.PHOTO: EPA

(AFP) - Rafael Nadal admitted on Thursday (May 25) that he almost "destroyed" his wrist at the 2016 French Open, as he relived the pain which forced him to abandon his pursuit of a 10th Roland Garros title.

The Spanish star withdrew from the 2016 tournament with a left-wrist injury on the eve of his third-round match, going on to miss Wimbledon before returning for the Rio Olympics.

"It was not a decision - it was an obligation. I almost destroyed my wrist at Roland Garros," Nadal told Eurosport on Thursday.

"What seemed doable on Monday was more difficult on Friday. I was playing well and pushed further until my wrist said 'no'. After that, the rest of the year was complicated."

Nadal is bidding to win the French Open for a 10th time and is considered the leading favourite after clinching clay-court titles in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid already this year.

He also reached his first Grand Slam final in three years in Australia in January where he lost in three sets to old rival Roger Federer who is skipping Roland Garros.

"My forehand is getting better and better. The rest of my game is working well and there aren't too many ups and downs at the moment," said the 30-year-old Nadal whose record in Paris reads nine titles, 72 match wins and just two defeats.