"I'm sorry" - Rafael Nadal, hopeful again, continues to deny French Open 2024 being his final Roland Garros campaign

Rafael Nadal, hopeful again, continues to deny French Open 2024 being his final Roland Garros campaign
Rafael Nadal, hopeful again, continues to deny French Open 2024 being his final Roland Garros campaign

Rafael Nadal has once again maintained that the 2024 French Open campaign may not be his final appearance at Roland Garros amid speculation that he might be hanging up his racquet at the end of the season. The Spaniard refuses to close the door on the idea that he might return to Paris next year as well, giving hope once again to millions of fans around the globe.

At a press conference last year, the 22-time Grand Slam champion made the announcement that he was likely to retire at the end of 2024. In the days since, Nadal has neither confirmed nor denied how concrete he is with that idea. What the former World No. 1 has emphasized time and again, though, is that he cannot predict what the future holds and that he will take it day by day.

At the French Open this year, the left-hander has been drawn to face Alexander Zverev in the first round, a rather tough opener for the 14-time champion. With a big chance that he will play no more than one match at the event, questions have arisen about whether this is indeed how the Mallorcan's final campaign at a Grand Slam he has made his very own will sadly unfold.

At his press conference before taking on Zverev, Rafael Nadal expanded on that question, stating that while it's possible, he doesn't know for certain. Reiterating that Roland Garros has been a 'magical' place for him through the years, the Spaniard remarked that he might entertain the thought of playing next year as well if he feels better in the days to come.

Nadal comes into the French Open with a 5-3 win/loss record on clay for the season, with his most recent result being a second-round exit at the Italian Open. The 37-year-old asserted that he feels better in Paris than he did in Rome, adding that has the feeling that he can move with fewer limitations than he did there.

"Is this my last Roland Garros? Probably yes, but I don't want to say 100%. I don’t want to close the door. I'm sorry. I can't predict the future. This place is magical for me. I may say yes in a couple of months, but I feel better than a month and a half ago," Rafael Nadal said (via Marca).
"I am enjoying and feel competitive in training. I can play against anyone and I don't feel worse than others. That gives me hope. I progressed since Rome, especially in terms of movement. I can run without limitations now," he added.

"I'm not anxious" - Rafael Nadal on opening French Open 2024 campaign against Alexander Zverev

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal further stated his elation at returning to the French Open after missing out on last year's edition due to injury, stating that he's not anxious about opening his 2024 campaign against Alexander Zverev.

Instead, the Spaniard is more focused on his own game, even if there's a chance that his campaign in Roland Garros ends as miserably as it did at the Italian Open earlier this month.

"I haven't played for two years, I have been injured again. Maybe I will get injured again and I would say that it is not worth it. Today I feel a little different because I have fewer limitations than three weeks ago, but the experience. It tells me that there are options for this to happen again," Rafael Nadal said in the aforementioned press conference.
"I'm not anxious, I'm focused on trying to play. Maybe I will repeat the disaster of Rome but in my mind I’m going to give myself a chance to be competitive here. The answer will be on Monday," he added.

Nadal will face Zverev at the French Open on Monday, following which the winner will play against David Goffin or Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard in the second round.

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

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