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Rafael Nadal Is Set to Face In-Form Alexander Zverev in the First Round of the French Open

The Spanish Legend Will Look to Conquer Roland Garros Once More Before Retiring

Legendary Run

The latest tennis news reveals 14x French Open champion, Rafael Nadal, will face No. 4 seed, Alexander Zverev of Germany in the first round at Roland Garros.


Rafael Nadal Is Set to Face In-Form Alexander Zverev in the First Round of the French Open
Rafael Nadal against Alexander Zverev | Ibrahim Ezzat / NurPhoto / NurPhoto via AFP


Surprise Matchup

Rafael Nadal, the most celebrated French Open champion in history, has been sidelined with injuries over the last 1 ½ years and, as a result, has slid far out of the upper echelon and is currently ranked 276th in the world, according to ATP rankings.

But because Rafa Nadal has been so utterly dominant at Roland Garros, tennis rumors began to swirl that he would be seeded in the Top 16 with some stating a No. 1 seed would be more fitting, regardless of his current world ranking. However, the committee that assigns the rankings decided Nadal would go unseeded and he subsequently drew the No. 4 seed, Alexander Zverev, as his first-round opponent.

The 27-year-old Zverev is a dangerous matchup for Nadal who is likely making the 2024 French Open his swan song. Rafa has been untouchable at the French with a stunning 112-3 record and owns a 7-3 head-to-head mark against Zverev, with their last meeting occurring in the 2022 semifinals when the German had to withdraw after over three hours of play due to an ankle injury.


The Last Dance

Rafael Nadal is undeniably the best clay court tennis player in history, hence his nickname, the King of Clay. But he has also won four US Opens, two Australian, and two Wimbledon championships. He is a generational talent and one whose legacy places him in the pantheon of those who are considered the greatest of all time.

Therefore, it is a bittersweet moment for tennis fans around the world to watch him in what is likely his last appearance at Roland Garros. Last month, Nadal bowed to Czech Jiri Lehecka in straight sets at the Madrid Open, a tournament he has won five times. After the tournament, organizers honored him with banners and a commemorative trophy.

I’m happy. It was a very special week for me, very positive in every way. I was able to play again on a court that has given me a lot, also on an emotional level.

It has been unforgettable, and I can only say ‘thank you’. It has been an incredible journey. It’s very difficult, but life and my body have been sending signals to me for a long time.

I have been fortunate to turn my passion into my job. I am privileged,” Nadal said during a heartfelt midcourt post-match interview.

It appears the French Open is simply the next stop on Rafa’s farewell tour.

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