French Open organisers cancel Rafael Nadal ceremony ahead of Zverev clash after Spaniard's major U-turn | Tennis News - Hindustan Times
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French Open organisers cancel Rafael Nadal ceremony ahead of Zverev clash after Spaniard's major U-turn

May 27, 2024 12:05 PM IST

The ceremony was abruptly cancelled when Rafael Nadal hinted that he might not be ready to bid adieu to the French Open just yet

Amidst the buzz about Rafael Nadal's potential retirement in 2024, the French tennis federation had planned a ceremony to honor his illustrious career at the Roland Garros this year. However, the event was abruptly cancelled when Nadal hinted that he might not be ready to bid adieu to the tournament just yet, leaving the possibility of his return in 2025 open.

Spain's Rafael Nadal acknowledges fans during a practice session (REUTERS)
Spain's Rafael Nadal acknowledges fans during a practice session (REUTERS)

Tournament director Amélie Mauresmo revealed on Sunday, before Nadal's pre-tournament press conference at the Stade Roland Garros, saying that he wishes to come to the French Open next year before addressing the speculations on his retirement during the media interaction.

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“As you can imagine, we had something planned for him. But ... because he doesn’t know if it's going to be his last Roland Garros or not, he wants to leave the door open maybe to come back next year as a player. So we are not going to push him, obviously, to do anything,” Mauresmo said.

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“It's his decision when he wants to have a proper ceremony, a proper goodbye, a proper farewell. So we’re not going to do it this year. That’s his wish," she continued. "And even though we were ready to push the button if something happens, we obviously are 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.”

Nadal, who turns 38 on June 3, will be up against No. 4 seed Alexander Zverev in the first round on Monday. The match is scheduled to be third in the main stadium, Court Philippe Chatrier, and could start at around 3:30 p.m. local time (6:00 p.m. IST).

Nadal heads to the tournament on the back of a 5-3 record on clay, which includes a run to the pre-quarters in Madrid Masters and second-round losses in Rome and Barcelona.

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