WATCH: Rafael Nadal mania grips French Open as stadium announcer introduces Spaniard with iconic message ahead of Alexander Zverev clash

Stadium announcer introduces Rafael Nadal with iconic message ahead of Alexander Zverev clash at French Open 2024 [Source: Getty Images]
Stadium announcer introduces Rafael Nadal with iconic message ahead of Alexander Zverev clash at French Open 2024 [Source: Getty Images]

The stadium announcer at Philippe-Chatrier introduced Rafael Nadal with an iconic message before his first-round match against Alexander Zverev at the French Open. The announcer highlighted all the 14 years the Spaniard has won the Claycourt Major.

The French Open is Nadal's most successful Grand Slam tournament to date. He has claimed the singles title a record 14 times. His first title victory was in 2005, which was also his debut year at Roland Garros. He had defeated Argentine Mariano Puerta in the final to claim his first clay court Major title.

This win made the Spaniard the first man since Mats Wilander in 1982 to win the French Open in his tournament debut.

The former World No.1's most recent Roland Garros title win came in 2022 when he defeated Casper Ruud in the final. This marked his record-breaking 14th title in Paris and his 22nd Grand Slam title overall. Nadal has shown remarkable consistency at the French Open, winning consecutive titles from 2005 to 08, 2010-14, and then from 2017 to 19.

This year, Rafael Nadal, who is potentially playing his final year as a professional player, used his protected ranking to secure a spot in the main draw at the French Open. Fourth seed Alexander Zverev was drawn to be his opponent in the first round.

Just before the match between the Spaniard and Zverev began, the announcer at the stadium introduced the 22-time Grand Slam champion by reciting all 14 years in which he had emerged victorious in Roland Garros.

Watch the video here:

Rafael Nadal about playing at the French Open: "This place is magical for me"

Rafael Nadal at French Open 2024
Rafael Nadal at French Open 2024

Before kicking off his campaign in the first round against Alexander Zverev at the 2024 French Open, Rafael Nadal made a surprising revelation during the pre-tournament press conference. The Spaniard stated that he was uncertain about whether this would be his final year competing at Roland Garros.

The Spaniard described his experience playing at the French Open as "magical," leaving the door open for a potential return in the future

"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," he said (via Marca).

Despite facing setbacks due to injuries in 2023 and in the beginning of this year, the 22-time Grand Slam champion said that he is feeling "competitive" and hopeful for upcoming tournaments.

"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.

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

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