Rafael Nadal out of French Open

Rafael Nadal was defeated in the first round of the French Open by Alexander Zverev with scores of 6-3, 7-6 (5), 6-3 on Monday. This could potentially be the last appearance at his cherished tournament for the 14-time Roland Garros champion.

For the first time in his storied career, Nadal has suffered defeats in back-to-back matches on clay courts and has lost a match before reaching the fourth round at the French Open. His career record at this Grand Slam event is now 112 wins and 4 losses.

The game took place with the retractable roof closed at Court Philippe Chatrier, and the enthusiastic cheers for Nadal from the nearly 15,000-strong crowd resonated throughout the venue.

Nadal, who boasts 22 major titles, will turn 38 on June 3. Since January 2023, he has been battling hip and abdominal injuries, restricting his participation to just 15 matches and resulting in an 8-7 record since last year. His limited playtime has caused his ranking to plummet to No. 275, leading to him being unseeded for the French Open for the first time.

Consequently, he faced No. 4 seed Zverev, who was the runner-up at the 2020 U.S. Open, an Olympic gold medallist from Tokyo, and the only man to have reached the semifinals in Paris each of the past few years.

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