Rafael Nadal comments on Novak Djokovic being in stands for his potential RG farewell

Nadal addresses Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz and Iga Swiatek coming to watch his French Open match versus Alexander Zverev.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Rafael Nadal comments on Novak Djokovic being in stands for his potential RG farewell
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Rafael Nadal said he didn't notice Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz and Iga Swiatek in the stands during his French Open match versus Alexander Zverev but noted that he was "happy" to hear that some of his biggest rivals came to watch what may have been his last appearance at Roland Garros. 

On Monday, record 14-time French Open champion Nadal kicked off and concluded his Roland Garros run after No. 4 seed Zverev handed him a 6-3 7-6 (5) 6-3 first-round loss.

Since this was believed to be Nadal's last French Open appearance, the stands at Court Suzanne Lenglen were packed and it didn't feature only regular tennis fans but also some of the biggest tennis names. 

Djokovic coming to watch Nadal's farewell drew lots of attention and many positive reactions, while Alcaraz and Swiatek being in the stands was also notable but not surprising considering that both grew up watching and idolizing the Spanish 22-time Grand Slam champion.

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill
 

There were some other well-known professional tennis players in the stands, including 2022 WTA Finals champion Caroline Garcia and former world No. 11 Alize Cornet, who is also retiring after the French Open.

Nadal on Djokovic, Alcaraz and Swiatek watching his potential French Open farewell 

"I mean, I didn't see them, but I think in some way it's normal, no?" Nadal said.

"I think if that's the last time that I’m going to be playing here and if I know that Novak is the last time playing in Wimbledon or in Australia and I was there or... I mean, these kind of rivals or young players that are here like Carlos that probably they watch me on TV the most of his years that they are living (smiling), it's normal that in some way they are interested to see how this is going to be, and especially in this particular place with all the history that I had behind, no? 

"But yeah, I mean, happy that that happens, you know, because that means that I had a positive legacy here and positive legacy for my career, no? And that's it.”

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill
 

Moments after losing to Zverev, Nadal briefly addressed the crowd on the court. During his speech, Nadal didn't make any promises but didn't close the doors on potentially playing again at Roland Garros in 2025.

Rafael Nadal Novak Djokovic Alexander Zverev
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