Rafael Nadal’s Loses To Zverev In Possible Last French Open

Rafael Nadal lost in the first round of the French Open to Alexander Zverev 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3 on Monday and it may be his last match in the tournament.

Nadal has indicated 2024 likely would be his last season before retirement, but he said Saturday that he is not 100% sure he won’t play again at the French Open. 

His defeat against Zverev was his fourth in 116 career matches at the place.

“It’s difficult for me to talk. I don’t know (if) it’s going to be the last time I am here. I am not 100% sure,” said Nadal, whose 1 1/2-year-old son, Rafael Jr., sat on his mother’s lap in the stands. “If it’s the last time, I enjoyed it.”

The match was played with the retractable roof shut, and the loud chants of “Ra-fa!” from most in the capacity crowd of about 15,000 echoed.

Nadal turns 38 on June 3 and he has been dealing with hip and abdominal injuries since January 2023, limiting him to 15 matches and an 8-7 record since the start of last year.

Nadal’s other losses at Roland Garros came against Robin Soderling in 2010 and against Novak Djokovic in 2015 and 2021.

“To be honest, I don’t know what to say. First of all: Thank you, Rafa, from all of the tennis world,” Zverev said. “It’s such a great honor. I’ve watched Rafa play all my childhood, and I was lucky enough to play Rafa when I became a professional. … Today is not my moment. It’s Rafa’s moment.”