Tennis: Nadal says 'not 100% certain' it is his final French Open

AFP , Saturday 25 May 2024

Rafael Nadal said Saturday that it is likely he is appearing at the French Open for the final time but cautioned it was "not 100% certain".

Spain's Rafael Nadal holds a press conference during the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros Complex in Paris on May 25, 2024. Photo: AFP


"There is a good chance that it will be my last French Open, but I cannot say that I am 100% certain it will be the last," said the Spaniard.

Nadal, who has won the French Open 14 times and will celebrate his 38th birthday on June 3, faces world number four Alexander Zverev in the first round in Paris on Monday.

The Spanish legend has racked up 112 wins in 115 matches at the tournament since his title-winning 2005 debut when he was just 19.

He has 22 Grand Slam titles -- second only to Novak Djokovic's 24 on the all-time men's list -- but his career has been plagued by injuries.

Nadal has played just four tournaments since January last year after suffering a hip injury and then a muscle tear.

As a result, his ranking has slumped to 276 in the world and comes into the French Open unseeded.

"I have gone through a long recovery process. Now I'm better than a month ago. So in a way I don't want to close the door 100%," added Nadal.

"I love tennis, I travel with my family and we are all happy."

Nadal had to sit out the 2023 French Open through injury.

The year before he won his 14th title but revealed that he could only play with daily pain-killing injections in his feet.

"Give me a little time and maybe within a month I'll say I'm stopping," he added.

Nadal arrives in Paris having yet to make a clay-court quarter-final this season. In Rome, he was defeated in the second round.

"I feel competitive in training. Maybe not in an official match, but when I enter the court, I feel like I can beat anyone," he said.

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