End of an era? Rafael Nadal leaves French Open with uncertainty in the air

Monday, 27 May 2024 at 18:35
Rafael Nadal was soundly beaten 6-3, 7-6, 6-3 by Alexander Zverev in the opening round of the French Open in what could be his final Roland Garros after an illustrious career. What was always seen as an uphill battle ended up being thus.
Nadal though offered some hope that it may not be his last time saying that there could be another chance and that he will soon know after the Olympic Games which will also be held in Paris. He said though that if it is his final time, it will be one that he enjoyed instead of leaving dejected.
Nadal soaked up the acclaim from the crowd as he left Court Philippe Chatrier. He wasn't given a farewell by the tournament with Amelie Mauresmo quelling the idea due to Nadal leaving his future up in the air. So if that was the last time, he plays at the French Open he certainly left with the crowd in the palm of his hand.
Nadal had many of his contemporaries watching the match including Carlos Alcaraz, Novak Djokovic and the Queen of Clay in Iga Swiatek as there were no seats in the house for the Spaniard left. A true mark of his star power and the love for him in the sport.
"The amount of energy.. it’s difficult for me to talk. I don’t know if it’s gonna be the last time here in front of all of you. I’m not sure. But if it’s the last time I enjoyed it. The crowd was amazing during the whole week of preparation. Today the feelings I have are difficult to describe in words. For me it so special to feel the love of the people in the place I love the most," said Nadal post match.
"I enjoy playing a lot and traveling with the family. The body is feeling better than 2 months ago. Maybe in 2 months I say it’s enough. But it’s something I don’t feel yet. I hope to be back on this court for the Olympics. That motivates me. That’s going to be another chance."

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