Tennis: Nadal Faces Zverev At French Open First Round

Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal was handed a tough start to what is expected to be his farewell at the French Open, as the record 14-time champion was drawn against fourth seed Alexander Zverev in the first round.

Unseeded Nadal, who missed his favourite Grand Slam tournament due to injury last year, has plummeted down the rankings during an extended spell on the sidelines and has said he expects to retire after this season.

The pairing drew an audible gasp in the room and the two will meet for the first time since their 2022 semi-final clash at Roland Garros which Nadal won after Zverev suffered an injury and retired.

“It’s coming a little early in the tournament surely,” former world number one and tournament director Amelie Mauresmo said about the Nadal-Zverev pairing. “This is good news for neither of them.”

Should Nadal win the match, he could face 2021 US Open winner Daniil Medvedev in the quarter finals.

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