Serena Williams' childhood coach Rick Macci jokes Rafael Nadal's absence means we are finally getting "the real French Open" as for a very long time it was "really the Nadal Open Invitational." Nadal, who debuted at Roland Garros in 2005, became a Grand Slam champion there at the age of 18.
Since then, Nadal has won a record 14 French Open titles and owns a stunning 112-3 record. But this year, the French Open is taking place without Nadal participating for the first time since 2004. "The French Open this year is really the French Open!
14 times it was really the Nadal Open Invitational with everybody invited to have a chance to hold the runner up trophy," Macci tweeted.
The French open this year is really the French open !14 times it was really the Nadal open Invitational with everybody
invited to have a chance to hold the runner up trophy.
— Rick Macci (@RickMacci) May 27, 2023
Macci jokes Nadal's absence gets us 'the real French Open'
Nadal's record at the French Open is one of the most impressive things in all sports. The moment Nadal announced his French Open withdrawal, many started saying this would be the most open French Open in two decades.
Novak Djokovic, who has had nine defeats against Nadal at Roland Garros, jokingly admitted in his pre-tournament press conference that he wasn't really sad over the Spaniard's absence. "Honestly, I don't miss him being in the draw.
I don't like seeing him in the draw of Roland Garros. I have had not so much success against him in our head-to-head record in Roland Garros. I've managed to beat him twice, but I had to leave my heart and my guts out on the court to achieve that.
A lot of people retired him already 10 years ago but he kept going, which is something I respect and admire. I know how hard it is to maintain that level and keep going even after having a tough injury," Djokovic said. It remains to be seen who will the French Open in the absence of Nadal.
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