"One day found a snake biting me, another day a tiger": Rafael Nadal hilariously reflects on fitness struggles after French Open exit

2024 Brisbane International: Day 1
Rafael Nadal addresses a press conference. PHOTO: GETTY

Rafael Nadal was at his hilarious best while reflecting on his fitness struggles during his post-match press conference after a heartbreaking end to his 2024 French Open campaign. He lost 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-3 to World No. 4 Alexander Zverev in the first round on Monday, May 27.

Nadal has struggled a lot with his fitness over the past couple of years. The Spaniard won the first two Grand Slams in 2022 before suffering an abdominal injury during his Wimbledon quarterfinal. In 2023, he sustained a hip injury during the Australian Open that forced him out of the remainder of the season.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion made his comeback in 2024 and again, had to deal with an injury at the Brisbane International, that ruled him out until the Barcelona Open.

After losing to Alexander Zverev at the French Open, Nadal talked about his physical sufferings, offering a rather funny analogy. He compared his body to the woods being home to deadly animals.

"My body has been a jungle for two years. You don't know what to expect. I wake up one day and I found a snake biting me, another day a tiger. It has been a big fight with all the things that I went through, but the dynamic is positive the last few weeks," The Spaniard said in his post-match presser.

Rafael Nadal: "I went all through all this process with the dream to be back here in Roland Garros"

Rafael Nadal speaks to the crowd at 2024 French Open.
Rafael Nadal speaks to the crowd at 2024 French Open.

Rafael Nadal recovered from the hip injury in time to return to competitive action at the onset of the 2024 season. He participated in the Brisbane International to test the waters ahead of the Australian Open but after exiting the former event, he decided to skip the Melbourne Slam.

Going forward, the 37-year-old treaded ever so carefully in picking tournaments. He didn't play anywhere before the European clay season suggesting the French Open would be his top priority. He confirmed the same in his on-court interview at Roland Garros after the Alexander Zverev fight.

"I have been going through a very tough two years in terms of injuries. I went all through all this process with the dream to be back here in Roland Garros," Nadal said.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion lamented drawing Zverev, who's been in sublime form, in the first round, saying:

"It's true that the first round hasn't been the ideal one, I needed something else. I was competitive, I had my chances, but it was not enough against a great player like Sascha [Alexander Zverev]."

Notably, Zverev became only the third player after Robin Soderling and Novak Djokovic to beat Nadal at the Paris Major and the second after the Serb to do it in straight sets.

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

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