WATCH: Rafael Nadal clapped off by 1000s of cheering fans after possible last match at French Open as 2024 campaign comes to bitter end

2024 French Open - Day 2
Rafael Nadal possibly bids adieu to the French Open

Rafael Nadal left Court Philippe-Chatrier to huge applause from the crowd after possibly playing his final French Open match. The Spaniard was defeated by Alexander Zverev in the opening round of the tournament.

The Spaniard, who returned to Roland Garros for the first time since 2022, was dealt a tough draw for his opening contest. Nadal faced the in-form World No. 4 Alexander Zverev in what was a rematch of their semifinals from 2022.

Zverev brought his A-game and despite the 14-time Roland Garros champion giving it his best shot, the German converted the important points to win the match 6-3, 7-6(5), 6-3 to eliminate Nadal after three hours and five minutes.

After the match, Nadal spoke to the crowd and said that though this was possibly his final appearance at the Paris Major, he still wasn't 100% sure. The Spaniard added that even if this was his final appearance, he had enjoyed the atmosphere and thanked the crowd for their incredible support throughout his career at his favorite place.

"Bonjour a tous, je vous dis merci, ce incroyable (Hello everyone, I want to say thank you to you). The amount of energy, you know, it's difficult for me to talk, I don't know if it's the last time that I'm gonna be here in front of all of you. Honestly, I am not 100% sure but if it's, if it's last time, I enjoyed," the Spaniard said.
"The crowd have been amazing during the whole week of preparation and today, yeah, the feelings that I have today are difficult to describe in words. But, for me, so special to feel the love of the people the way that I felt in the place that I love the most. So, merci beaucoup a tout le monde (Thank you everyone).”

As he left the court, Rafael Nadal was met with huge applause from fans who stood up to acknowledge the Spaniard in what may be his final exit from Paris.

"Thank you Rafa from all of the tennis world" - Alexander Zverev shows love to Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev, 2024 French Open - Day 2
Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev, 2024 French Open - Day 2

Rafael Nadal's opponent Alexander Zverev also showered praise on the Spaniard during the post-match on-court interview. He thanked the 37-year-old for everything he had done for the sport and also said that it was an honor to play the Spaniard at Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Zverev didn't say much and mentioned that it was Nadal's moment more than his and thanked the crowd before giving the 14-time Roland Garros champion the stage.

"Thank you Rafa from all of the tennis world, you know, it's such a great honor. I've watched Rafa play all my childhood and I was lucky enough to play Rafa when I became a professional. You know, it was lucky enough to play him two times on this beautiful court and I don't know what to say, today is not my moment, it's Rafa's moment," Zverev said.
"Thank you, I'm not gonna speak too much, yeah, I'm gonna give it to Rafa."

Rafael Nadal will next prepare for the grass season whereas Alexander Zverev will continue his bid to win his maiden Grand Slam.

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

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