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French Open chiefs cancel Rafael Nadal ceremony as icon prepares for Alexander Zverev clash


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French Open chief Amelie Mauresmo has admitted they’ve had to cancel a farewell ceremony planned for Rafael Nadal.

Nadal is currently in Paris preparing for his clash with Alexander Zverev, with the two men poised to lock horns on Monday.

Nadal has long suggested he’ll retire this year, having been plagued by injury issues in recent years.

Earlier this weekend, however, the 37-year-old suggested he could yet play on.

Rafael Nadal French Open

French Open chiefs have cancelled a special ceremony for Rafael Nadal


“In some ways I don’t want to close 100 per cent the door,” he said.

“Physically I feel better, I am improving in different ways and I have less limitations than three or four weeks ago.

“I am grateful I am able to be in Roland Garros and give myself a chance to play at least one more time here – maybe the last one, maybe not.

“I am feeling competitive in the practices. I am able to play almost anyone.

“That has given me some hope.”

And Mauresmo has now confirmed French Open chiefs have scrapped a planned farewell ceremony for Nadal in the wake of his comments.

“As you can imagine, we had something planned for him,” said the former world No 1.

“But he told us that because he doesn’t know if this is not going to be his last Roland Garros or not he wants to leave the door open for him to come back next year.

“So we’re not going to push him obviously to do anything, it’s his decision when he wants to have a proper ceremony, a proper farewell so we’re not going to do it this year.

“That’s his wish, even though we were ready to push the button we’re obviously going to respect what he wants and make sure we’re ready whenever he wants to do it – any time he wants.”

It’s also unclear if Andy Murray will keep playing tennis.

Like with Nadal, injuries have hampered the Briton in recent years.

And Mauresmo revealed Murray turned down a potential ceremony, having made the final of the French Open back in 2016.

She continued: “Same as Rafa! In advance I called him and he said: ‘I don’t know, I’m not sure, let’s not do anything.

“It seems that they don’t know, so we respect that.”


French Open

French Open tournament director Amelie Mauresmo has confirmed a ceremony for Rafael Nadal has been put on hold


Nadal, meanwhile, is embracing the challenge of facing Zverev – who is the fourth seed going into the match.

“When you are seeded anything can happen,” he said, referring to his upcoming clash with the German.

“That’s part of the business when you are not seeded. You just accept it.

“On paper it is not the best draw, I will play against one of the toughest opponents possible, so what can I do? I have to try to be ready for it.”

His uncle, Toni Nadal, believes his nephew can reign supreme at Roland Garros once more.

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal is feeling good as he looks to win the French Open for the 15th time


“It will be very difficult because in the last two years he has not played many matches but I think his game remains very difficult for opposing players,” he told the BBC.

“When you’re not seeded it is a big problem. But if Rafael is able to arrive in the second week he will be one of the favourites to win Roland Garros again.”

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Written by: radioroxi

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