Nadal meets Zverev in tough opener at French Open today

PARIS: In what could be his last French Open, 14-times champion Rafa Nadal faces a tough task to avoid it all ending in a first-round exit when he plays Alexander Zverev on Monday.

Nadal had already announced that this could be the final season of his career but on his arrival in Paris the Spaniard said he could not yet be sure that he was ready to close the door on Roland Garros.

After missing last year’s tournament through injury, Nadal will be keen to make the most of his return, as will his fans, but standing in his way is fourth-seeded German Zverev, fresh from his triumph at the Italian Open.

“It’s not ideal the first match, because I feel competitive to have this match later in the tournament, but it’s how it is,” Nadal said.

“I need to be ready since the beginning. Let’s see.”

The meeting will bring back contrasting memories for both players of the last time they met, in a French Open semi-final in 2022, when Nadal went on to win yet another title in Paris, the last of his 22 Grand Slam victories. (Reuters)

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