WATCH: Rafael Nadal's father Sebastian gazes in admiration at son's iconic Roland Garros statue in emotional scenes ahead of French Open campaign

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal's father watched on in admiration and pride at his son's Roland Garros statue (Source: Getty Images)

Rafael Nadal's father Sebastian was captured by cameras looking on in admiration and pride at his son's iconic statue at Roland Garros. For the 14-time French Open champion, this year's edition of the claycourt Major will likely mark his last Roland Garros outing.

Blair Henley, one of the most prominent names in tennis media, took to social media to share the emotional moment. Henley's post also featured a caption that read:

"Papa Nadal is just like us. Watching him come out to admire his son’s statue - that I assume he’s seen many times before - hit me in the feels. What a legacy."

Watch the video below:

The statue Sebastian can be seen looking at was unveiled in May 2021. It is located beside the entrance gate for the general public and the Jardin des Mousquetaires, the garden that honors French former tennis stalwarts Jacques Brugnon, Jean Borotra, Rene Lacoste, and Henri Cochet.

Nadal himself was in attendance at the unveiling ceremony, which also featured Jordi Diez Fernandez, the statue's sculptor, and Gilles Moretton, the President of the French Tennis Federation (FFT).

The Spaniard is set to kickstart his campaign for a record-extending 15th French Open title against World No. 4 Alexander Zverev on Monday (May 27).

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On paper, Zverev is the favorite to go through to the second round at Roland Garros. The German has been in imperious form of late, which has seen him become the World No. 4 after clinching the Italian Open title earlier this month.

Meanwhile, Nadal has been trying to get back to his best after missing almost the entirety of the 2023 season and a significant chunk of the ongoing one due to two separate injuries. However, the Spaniard could only manage a second-round finish in Rome.

At a press conference, Nadal shared his feelings on being drawn against Zverev. According to the Spaniard, it is something he had to take in his stride considering his unseeded status at the French Open. The former World No. 1, currently ranked World No. 275, entered the tournament's main draw on a protected ranking.

"At some point somebody told me the draw. I mean, the reaction is something that I expected in some way. When you’re not seeded, anything can happen. That’s part of the business," Nadal said.

The winner of the match between Nadal and Zverev will go on to face either 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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