'In Peace With Myself If It's My Last Roland Garros': Nadal Reflects On Historic Defeat

'In Peace With Myself If It's My Last Roland Garros': Nadal Reflects On Historic Defeat

by Nurein Ahmed

Rafael Nadal poured his heart out in the aftermath of his first-ever first-round defeat at Roland Garros acknowledging that he is satisfied with his efforts.

Since the draw of this year's French Open was revealed, Nadal's match against Alexander Zverev was the most anticipated opening match in a Grand Slam in recent memory.

Despite his status as a 14-time champion at the event, Nadal was not given special treatment by the organizers when it came to seedings and entered the tournament with a protected ranking.

He was resilient and defiant on a rainy Monday that led to the roof closure on Court Philippe-Chatrier. He put up a good fight, but Zverev was simply too good on the day, saving nine of 11 break points en route to a straight-sets victory.

After the match, Nadal told reporters in his post-match press conference that he did not have mixed feelings about the result and was cognizant of the fact that he would draw a top-seeded player because of his protected ranking. He was also upbeat about his level.

"No, I mean, not bad feelings. I showed myself that I was ready for more than what I did at the end, that is, losing in the first round. But that's how it is, no? When you are not seeded, you play against a player who is in great shape and is one of the best players of the world."

"As I said before, it was a positive week for me in practice in all ways. In terms of physical performance, too. Without a doubt I felt much better than before. I didn't feel those limitations. Today in the match the same. I felt I was able to move myself much better than in the previous tournaments."

Nadal did not mention that it was effectively his last French Open, leaving the door open for a possible shot at No. 15 in 2025. But he was content if this was the last time he walked the court in Paris.

"So that's it. Accept the moment. If it's the last time that I played here, I am in peace with myself (smiling). I tried everything to be ready for this tournament for almost 20 years. And today and the last two years I have been working and going through probably the toughest process in my tennis career with the dream to come back here, no? At least I did. I lost, but that’s part of the business."


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