Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, Iga Swiatek catch Rafael Nadal's thrilling round-one French Open action against Zverev | Tennis News - Hindustan Times
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Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, Iga Swiatek catch Rafael Nadal's thrilling round-one French Open action against Zverev

May 27, 2024 09:29 PM IST

Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, Iga Swiatek are present to watch Rafael Nadal's French Open round one clash against Alexander Zverev.

Rafael Nadal's French Open 2024 opener has proved to be a star attraction as some big names popped up to watch him face Alexander Zverev on Monday. It is also probably Rafael Nadal's final Roland Garros, due to recurrence of injuries affecting him. (RAFAEL NADAL VS ALEXANDER ZVEREV LIVE UPDATES)

Iga Swiatek and Novak Djokovic watch Rafael Nadal play.
Iga Swiatek and Novak Djokovic watch Rafael Nadal play.

The Spaniard's arch-rival Novak Djokovic turned up at the Phillippe-Chatrier court to watch the match. Meanwhile, Nadal's successor Carlos Alcaraz was also there, and so was WTA No. 1 Iga Swiatek.

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Nadal has a 7-3 win record against Zverev and also defeated him in the 2022 French Open semifinal. This edition could be a different one as both are in contrasting forms. Zverev is in fine touch, and recently won the Italian Open, which made him World No. 4. Meanwhile, Nadal hasn't been at his best in his comeback, and bagged fourth and second round finishes at the Madrid and Italian Open.

Speaking ahead of the match, the World No. 276 had a bold reaction to his first round draw. "At some point somebody told me the draw. I mean, the reaction is something that I expected in some way. When you’re not seeded, anything can happen. That’s part of the business," he said.

Meanwhile Zverev had a different take and preferred facing Nadal at a later stage. "Ideally I would have liked to play him in at a later stage of the tournament um but it is how it is now. He is unseeded this year, I am seeded. It's a tough draw but it's a tough draw for both of us and we'll see how it goes," the German said.

Nadal attempted his comeback in January this year, losing in the Brisbane International quarterfinals. During the quarterfinal against Jordan Thompson, he suffered a muscle injury, which saw him pull out of the Australian Open. He has also hinted at the possibility of 2024 being his swansong year in tennis.

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