French Open director reveals Nadal's last-minute decision on farewell ceremony

Wednesday, 29 May 2024 at 10:45
French Open director Amelie Mauresmo has revealed that the planned farewell ceremony for Spain’s legendary tennis star Rafael Nadal did not take place because he changed his mind. The 37-year-old is often regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of men’s tennis, having won 22 Grand Slam titles in his illustrious career.
Fourteen of those titles came at Roland Garros, which is why he is also known as the ‘King of Clay’. In 2023, after struggling with consistent fitness concerns, the former world number one announced that the 2024 season would be his last at the highest level.
Ever since that announcement, the fans were waiting to see him one last time at the French Open. Their wish finally came true, but his journey was short-lived as he lost to Germany’s Alexander Zverev in the first round in straight sets with a score of 6-3, 7-6, 6-3.
It was reported earlier that the French Open authorities would organize a farewell ceremony for Nadal if he loses any of his matches, but that did not happen on Monday, leaving some tennis fans disappointed.
Mauresmo, also a former world number one in the women’s singles category, was quoted in a report where she revealed that the decision was taken after Nadal changed his mind.
Rafael Nadal suffered a first-round exit from the French Open after losing to Germany's Alexander Zverev.
"He was moved but also content,” said the 44-year-old. "He said ok to speak, because we obviously gave him the choice. Everything was still contained because in his head, he wasn't finished. Everything was ready [for the farewell ceremony] because that was the idea. He told us, he told me, but then he changed his mind.
"I think his build-up throughout the week of training here has been crucial. And from the moment he found his level again, he said to himself that it might not be the last, so we canceled everything at the last moment.”

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