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Rafael Nadal contemplates retirement following first round loss in French Open

Nadal may make his return to Roland Garros for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Rafael Nadal said there is a “big percentage” he will not be back to Roland Garros after his first round loss to fourth seed Alexander Zverev in the French open.

The 37-year-old lost in straight sets to Zverev and said he will likely retire after 2024.

Nadal is described as the best clay court player the sport has ever seen. The 14-time champion was watched by fans from around the world and fellow tennis stars as he left the court for what would most likely be the last time.

“If it’s the last time that I played here, I am at peace with myself,” Nadal said.

He will not be playing at Wimbledon in July but is interested in playing in the Paris Olympics, which will mark his possible return to the Stade Roland Garros.

The 22-time grand slam champion has suffered from 18 months of hip and abdominal injuries and was unable to play at his usual level.

“The last two years I have been going through probably the toughest process in my tennis career with the dream to come back here and at least I did,” he said.

Nadal’s defeat was the first time he had ever lost in the opening round at Roland Garros, it may be the last time he plays at the tournament that launched his career.

“It’s incredible, the amount of energy, it’s difficult for me to talk,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s gonna be the last time if I’m going to be here in front of all of you. Honestly, I’m not 100 percent sure, but if it’s the last time, I enjoyed it.”

Nadal addressed the crowd after the match and said “the feelings that you made me feel here are unbelievable. I really hope to see you again, but I don’t know. Merci beaucoup.”


Photo: IMG_1731 by Marianne Bevis is available HERE and is used under a Creative Commons Licence. This image has not been modified.

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