"I have a good time traveling with my wife and son" - Rafael Nadal on prolonging tennis career if he continues to 'have fun' while staying competitive

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal's wife Maria Francisca with Rafa Jr. (R). PHOTOS: GETTY

Rafael Nadal might already have swung his racket in a competitive match at the French Open for the last time but the Spaniard isn't drawing the curtains yet. He suggested the same after losing to Germany's Alexander Zverev on Monday, May 27.

Nadal played his heart out against Zverev in the first-round meeting at the 2024 French Open on Monday but age prevailed over experience as the German sealed a 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-3 win. By doing so, Zverev became only the third man after Novak Djokovic and Robin Soderling to beat the Spaniard at Roland Garros.

For the 22-time Grand Slam champion, however, all is not lost yet as the prospect of traveling more on tour with his wife Maria Francisca Perello and son Rafa Jr. keeps him in high spirits.

"I'm a normal guy who enjoys what he does. I am passionate about sports, competition, I like to train and play tennis. I have a good time traveling with my wife and son, so if I feel like I'm competitive and healthy enough to have fun, I'll continue for a while," he said during his post-match presser.

Notably, Maria and Junior were in the stands at Philippe Chatrier to watch him battle Zverev. The 37-year-old further stated that Monday was not the right time to analyze his performance but he looked forward to monitoring the trajectory of his graph in the coming days. He said:

"I have to check if my level of play is going up. Today is not the time to analyze these things, but to accept what I have to do right now."

Rafael Nadal created 11 break points against Alexander Zverev's in 1R at French Open 2024

Rafael Nadal in action at the 2024 French Open. PHOTO: GETTY
Rafael Nadal in action at the 2024 French Open. PHOTO: GETTY

Rafael Nadal managed to create 11 break points against Alexander Zverev during the first-round meeting at the 2024 French Open on Monday.

The number didn't impact the result significantly as the Spaniard was unable to convert no more than two break points. However, it indicates that he still possesses the ability to threaten a top-tier player like Zverev who recently won a Masters 1000 title (Italian Open).

Furthermore, Nadal warded off 12 out of the 18 break points that the German created on Monday. He was able to maintain a point conversion rate of 48% on the second serve. The number was notably equal to Zverev's efficiency on the same parameter.

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

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