Here's why Rafael Nadal won't have a farewell ceremony at 2024 French Open as plans shelved

Sunday, 26 May 2024 at 15:51
French Open organisers were forced to shelve a planned Farewell Rafael Nadal ceremony after the 14-time champion left it up in the air whether he would actually retire this year. He said that there was a 'big, big chance' that it would be his final time.
But he also said that he will leave the door open to potentially playing the tournament again in 2025. While Roger Federer for instance had a farewell planned, it seems that Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray in particular have not put an end date on it. The Spaniard has flirted with the idea in recent weeks of returning to Rome in 2025.
Seemingly as in Nadal's case, he has unfinished business after an early defeat seemingly lending itself to the fact that if he has similar again vs Alexander Zverev in Paris that he might decide against packing it in for another year. But it is a very late decision to cancel said ceremony as Amelie Mauresmo, tournament director confirmed.
That means that likely if he loses, he will not have anything on court even if he later decides to retire as he initially planned in 2024. But him leaving it open is very much the issue as it means that tournaments cannot plan to give him a sendoff and also market their tournament as his farewell with it being an unknown. But it is at the end of the day his prerogative as Mauresmo admits.
“As you can imagine, we had something planned for him, but he said [on Saturday] – he told us actually before yesterday – that he doesn’t know if it’s gonna be his last Roland Garros or not,” Mauresmo said. "He wants to leave the door open for him maybe to come back next year as a player. So we’re not going to push him to do anything. It’s his decision when he wants to have a proper ceremony or proper goodbye and proper farewell. So we’re not going to do it this year.
“That’s his wish, even though we’re ready to push the button and something happens, we are obviously going to respect what he wants and make sure we are ready whenever he feels he wants to do it: later this year, next year, anytime he wants.”
“It’s a big, big chance that going to be my last Roland Garros, but if I have to tell you it’s 100 per cent my last Roland Garros, sorry, but I will not, because I cannot predict what’s going on," said Nadal who did get his farewell at the Madrid Open which he said he won't return to. Others less so set in stone.
“I have been going through a long process of recovery with a very difficult injury, almost two years of suffering, a recovery process that seems like I feel better now.
“I am not a guy that reacts because I lost there or I lost in the other place, I react about my personal feelings, and my personal feelings are better now than one month and a half ago, without a doubt.
“So in some way I don’t want to close 100 per cent the door.”

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