Rafael Nadal opens up on Djokovic-Alcaraz presence in stands for his French Open clash: ‘…means I had a positive legacy’ | Tennis News - Hindustan Times
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Rafael Nadal opens up on Djokovic-Alcaraz presence in stands for his French Open clash: ‘…means I had a positive legacy’

May 28, 2024 07:22 AM IST

After the exit from first round, Nadal opens about his views on Djokovic, Alacaraz and other tennis stars presence at the stands.

Rafael Nadal suffered a heartbreaking exit from the first round of the French Open after losing to Alexander Zverev. Nadal has a tremendous record at Roland Garros and is called the 'King of Clay,' however, it was not his day in the first round, as Zverev beat him in a one-sided clash. The ageing Spaniard fought hard but Zverev looked all determined to produce a big upset. Nadal, who turns 38 next week, showed all his trademark fighting qualities in a gripping match but only managed to convert two of 11 break points against an inspired opponent.

Spain's Rafael Nadal during a press conference after losing his men's singles match against Germany's Alexander Zverev on day two of the French Open at the Roland Garros Complex.(AFP)
Spain's Rafael Nadal during a press conference after losing his men's singles match against Germany's Alexander Zverev on day two of the French Open at the Roland Garros Complex.(AFP)

Nadal was beaten for just the fourth time in 116 matches at Roland Garros.

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It was only Nadal's fifth tournament since January 2023 after suffering a hip injury followed by a muscle tear.

Several ace tennis stars including Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz and Iga Swiatek were present at the stands to witness Nadal's magic. The speculations were rife that French Open 2024 was expected to be the 14-time champion's farewell to the grand slam, but he had since insisted he could not confirm "100 percent" it would be his last appearance.

Also Read | Rafael Nadal gets emotional after French Open round one defeat, acknowledges support in viral video

After the exit from first round, Nadal was asked about his views on Djokovic, Alacaraz and other tennis stars presence at the stands.

“I mean, I didn't see them, but I think in some way it's normal, no? I think if that's the last time that I’m gonna be playing here and if I know that Novak is the last time playing in Wimbledon or in Australia and I was there or... I mean, these kind of rivals or young players that are here like Carlos that probably they watch me on TV the most of his years that they are living (smiling), it's normal that in some way they are interested to see how this is going to be, and especially in this particular place with all the history that I had behind, no?" Nadal told reporters.

The 22-time grand slam winner suggested that it showed he has a positive legacy that his counterparts are coming to witness him playing.

"Happy that happens, you know, because that means that I had a positive legacy here and positive legacy for my career, no? And that's it," he added.

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