"An experience I had to live" - Carlos Alcaraz on watching Rafael Nadal live at French Open before him being beaten by Alexander Zverev

Carlos Alcaraz spoke up about attending Rafael Nadal
Carlos Alcaraz spoke up about attending Rafael Nadal's potentially final match at the French Open (Source: Getty Images)

Carlos Alcaraz spoke about attending legendary compatriot Rafael Nadal's 2024 French Open first-round match against Alexander Zverev. Nadal, despite trying his best, was ultimately no match for Zverev, losing the contest 3-6, 6(5)-7, 3-6. It was potentially Nadal's last outing at the French Open, where he has been crowned champion on a record 14 occasions.

Alcaraz was not the only high-profile name in attendance. Nadal's great rival Novak Djokovic also watched on from the stands, as did WTA World No. 1 Iga Swiatek, who idolizes the 22-time Grand Slam winner.

However, while Djokovic and Swiatek left after the conclusion of the second set, Alcaraz stayed on until the end, when Nadal was urged by tournament director Amelie Mauresmo to say a few words amid uncertainty surrounding his future participation at the claycourt Grand Slam.

After surviving a major scare in the second round against Jesper De Jong, Alcaraz was asked about his feelings on watching Nadal play Zverev, during a press conference. The two-time Grand Slam winner expressed his hope that Nadal would play again at the French Open.

"He (Nadal) has also said that he hopes it is not his last match here at Roland Garros, that he is going to try to return and I think that is also why a tribute was not paid to him and he has said it himself. But clearly it is a very nice match to see, at least as a tennis fan, to see Rafa here at Roland Garros," Alcaraz told the media.

The World No. 3 went on to delve deep into his feelings about witnessing Nadal live in action at Roland Garros.

"I have not been lucky enough to see it live, I think it is the first match that I have seen live here at Roland Garros and the truth is that, since I could, it was an experience that I had to live. A match with Zverev for me was a good match, even though he lost. And the truth is, what better way than to see it until the last moment," Alcaraz added.

Carlos Alcaraz recently assessed a potential matchup against Rafael Nadal at the French Open

Rafael Nadal (L) and Carlos Alcaraz (R) at The Netflix Slam
Rafael Nadal (L) and Carlos Alcaraz (R) at The Netflix Slam

In an interview before starting his French Open campaign, Alcaraz shared his approach if he were to potentially clash against Nadal at Roland Garros.

According to the World No. 3, facing Nadal "is always imposing", irrespective of the tournament. However, he went on to say that if they were to meet at some stage of the French Open, he would "take it like any other game".

"Playing against Rafa is always imposing, no matter where, in what tournament or in what situation, because of the legend he is in our sport. But it is true that what he transmits when he is at Roland Garros gives you extra respect both to me and to any other player. If I play against him, I would try to take it like any other game," Alcaraz told Marca.

Alcaraz is still waiting to find out if he will face Sebastian Korda or Kwon Soonwoo in the third round. The match between Korda and Kwon was suspended due to rain.

What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here

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