Search
Close this search box.

Nadal loses on possible French Open farewell

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
WhatsApp
Telegram
Email

Rafael Nadal’s return to the French Open—and possible farewell—ended at the first hurdle as the 14-time champion lost in straight sets to German fourth seed Alexander Zverev.

Nadal has become synonymous with Roland Garros but, in front of a partisan crowd baying for a Spanish victory, the 37-year-old could not replicate the level which has made him almost unbeatable on the Paris clay.

The 22-time Grand Slam winner was beaten 6-3 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 by the in-form Zverev.

Nadal indicated when he missed last year’s French Open that the 2024 season could be his final one on tour because of injury.

However, he cannot now be “100%” certain he will not continue, but does concede it is a “good chance” this will be his final French Open.

Nadal arrived on Court Philippe Chatrier – the scene of many of the finest moments of his career – to a thunderous reception from a packed stadium.

While nowhere near his scintillating best, the former world number one showed flashes of the brilliance that has made him so loved.

But it was not enough to stringently test the 27-year-old Zverev, who played with a measure of control throughout.

It was only Nadal’s fourth defeat in 116 singles matches at Roland Garros and Zverev became the third man – after Robin Soderling in 2009 and Novak Djokovic in 2015 and 2021 – to beat him there.

“I don’t know if it’ll be the last time I’m going to be here in front of you, if it is I have enjoyed it,” Nadal said in an on-court speech.

“The crowd have been amazing the whole week. For me it’s so special to feel the love of the people the way I have felt.”

With some fans crying in the stands, Nadal departed to another standing ovation as the Parisian crowd showed their appreciation for the clay-court Grand Slam’s finest champion.

Share this post :

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
WhatsApp
Telegram
Email