Rafael Nadal's Roland Garros Mistery: Farewell or Future Plans?

Rafael Nadal is leaving the door open for a possible return to Roland Garros in 2025

by Jovica Ilic
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Rafael Nadal's Roland Garros Mistery: Farewell or Future Plans?
© Dan Istitene / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Rafael Nadal is preparing for his 19th Roland Garros. The 14-time champion will compete in Paris with a protected ranking. He has played only six tournaments since the beginning of 2023 and has dealt with injuries. The Roland Garros legend refused to call this year's edition his last in Paris, leaving the door open for a possible return in 2025.

Thus, Nadal will likely skip a farewell ceremony at his beloved tournament, planning to return in 12 months to compete or say his final goodbye to the French crowd. Rafa will play against world no. 4 Alexander Zverev in the first round at Roland Garros, facing a stern test and his earliest Parisian exit.

Despite an in-form rival on the other side of the net, the Spaniard will give everything to prevail and score a notable victory on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Rafael Nadal, Roland Garros 2024© Dan Istitene / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Nadal trained with Sebastian Korda, Stan Wawrinka, Daniil Medvedev and Holger Rune ahead of the official action, shaping his form and hoping for a good run in his 116th Roland Garros match.

The veteran injured his left hip at last year's Australian Open, skipping the rest of the season and embracing the most challenging period of his career. Rafa trained well in the second part of the year and returned in Brisbane in the first week of 2024.

Nadal beat Dominic Thiem and Jason Kubler before experiencing another blow versus Jordan Thompson in the quarter-final. The Spaniard squandered three match points in a heartbreaking loss after nearly three and a half hours, feeling the pain around his hip again and missing the Australian Open.

Rafael Nadal & Holger Rune, Roland Garros 2024© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Rafael Nadal wishes to compete at Roland Garros in 2025.

Like it was not enough, Nadal experienced abdominal issues in February, skipping Doha and Indian Wells and hoping to return during his favorite clay swing.

The veteran did not recover in time for Monte Carlo, and his first matches in 100 days came in Barcelona. Rafa fell to Alex de Minuar in the second round before earning three wins at the Madrid Masters. It was Nadal's best run since the 2022 US Open, and he could not repeat it in Rome, taking only four games against Hubert Hurkacz in the second round and wishing for a better result at Roland Garros.

Nadal and Zverev will continue their Roland Garros rivalry, battling in the semi-final two years ago for over three hours before the German hurt his ankle and retired in tears. Alexander will be the favorite, but no one should underestimate Rafa's chances, not at his beloved Court Philippe-Chatrier.

Rafael Nadal, Roland Garros 2024© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

"There is a good chance this will be my last Roland Garros. Luckily, I can not confirm that, which is excellent news. I do not have to close the door to what may come in the future and organize a farewell tribute this year.

If this is my final Roland Garros, I will return for a ceremony next year, but I would love to compete here in 2025," Rafael Nadal said.

Rafael Nadal Roland Garros
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