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Rafael Nadal Suffers First-Round Defeat to Alexander Zverev at French Open

Rafael Nadal Suffers First-Round Defeat to Alexander Zverev at French Open

Rafael Nadal was defeated by Alexander Zverev 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 in the first round of the French Open. This could potentially be Nadal’s last match at Roland Garros, where he has claimed 14 titles and is famously known as the ‘King of Clay.’

This loss marks the first time Nadal has been beaten in two consecutive matches on clay courts and his earliest exit at the French Open, where he holds an impressive career record of 112-4. Despite flashes of his top form, the 37-year-old Spaniard couldn’t overcome Zverev, who becomes only the third man to defeat Nadal at this tournament, following Novak Djokovic and Robin Soderling.

After the match, Nadal, who has struggled with injuries over the past two years, expressed uncertainty about his future at Roland Garros. “I don’t know if it’s gonna be my last time here in front of you, not 100% – but if it is, I enjoyed it,” he told the crowd.

Nadal has faced a series of health challenges, including hip and abdominal injuries, which have limited his play since January 2023. His ranking has dropped to No. 275, making him unseeded for the first time at the French Open.

Nadal’s loss was witnessed by a crowd filled with current tennis stars and notable figures, including his family and long-time rival Novak Djokovic. Zverev, acknowledging Nadal’s legacy, said, “It’s such a great honor. I’ve watched Rafa play all my childhood, and I was lucky enough to play Rafa when I became a professional. Today is not my moment. It’s Rafa’s moment.”

As Nadal’s future in tennis remains uncertain, his remarkable achievements at Roland Garros continue to be celebrated by fans and fellow players alike.

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