Nadal out of French Open, eyes Paris Olympics

Spanish tennis star, Rafael Nadal, suffered what looked like a career-ending defeat after opponent Alexander Zverev roared to victory in the first round of the ongoing French Open.

It was a play that signalled a record-breaking French Open career for Nadal, a 14-time champion.

Nadal, who turns 38 on June 3, went down 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 to world number four Zverev, suffering only his fourth loss in 116 matches at Roland Garros since his 2005 title-winning debut.

It is the first time in his long and illustrious career that Nadal has been beaten in two consecutive matches on clay courts and the first time he has lost a match earlier than the fourth round at the French Open.

In a repeat of the 2022 semi-final, which Nadal won when Zverev quit with ankle ligament damage, the Spaniard had his chances.

Victory meant Zverev became only the third man to beat Nadal at Roland Garros, after Novak Djokovic and Robin Soderling, with the German banishing memories of his retirement due to an ankle injury when the duo last met in the 2022 semi-finals.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion, who won the Musketeers’ Cup for the first time in 2005 and last raised the trophy in 2022 before a serious hip injury derailed his career, has previously said this year could be his final one on the tour.

Andy Murray, British Tennis czar had lost to Stan Wawrinka in their French Open kick-off match.

Tha contest would have also signalled end to Murray’s career who suffered injuries in recent times.

Heritage Times HT