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Home Sports Nadal ready for emotional French Open farewell

Nadal ready for emotional French Open farewell

The great Spaniard won his first title at Roland Garros as a teenager in 2005

by NWMNewsDesk
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Rafael Nadal will bring down the curtain on his 19-year French Open career with the likelihood of adding to his 14 titles greatly diminished before he leaves behind a record and reputation unlikely ever to be matched.

The great Spaniard, a 22-time Grand Slam champion, won his first title at Roland Garros as a teenager in 2005.

A week on Monday, he will celebrate his 38th birthday.

A former world number one, who is now at 276 in the world, Nadal has only played 15 matches since January last year as a hip injury and then a muscle tear were added to a depressing litany of physical ailments which have forced him to miss 12 Grand Slam tournaments in his career.

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Unseeded this year, his farewell to arms may be brief after he was drawn to face world number four Alexander Zverev in the first round with the match set for Monday.

“I’m going to play the tournament thinking that I can give my all, 100 percent,” explained Nadal after a second-round exit in Rome.

“And if 100 percent is not enough to win a match, I’ll accept that. But I don’t want to step onto court knowing that I have no chance. If there’s a 0.01 percent chance, I want to explore that and give it a go.”

As well as 14 titles in Paris, Nadal can boast a record of 112 wins and just three losses, two of which came against career-long rival Novak Djokovic. He is also held in remarkably high esteem.

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