Rafael Nadal: Former world No 2 ‘not expecting anything’ from the Spaniard at the French Open

Ewan West
Rafael Nadal close up Barcelona Open 2024
Rafael Nadal looks on during a match

Former Spanish tennis star Alex Corretja has urged Rafael Nadal to “let it go” and “just go for everything” in what will likely be his final French Open appearance.

The former world No 2 explained he is “not expecting anything” from Nadal at Roland Garros because the tennis legend “doesn’t need to prove anything else.”

Nadal has divulged that 2024 will probably be the last year of his remarkable tennis career, with the upcoming French Open almost certain to be his final appearance in Paris. He will turn 38 during this year’s edition of Roland Garros, which will get underway on Sunday.

The former world No 1 has achieved unprecedented success at the French Open, winning 14 titles and compiling a 112-3 win-loss record.

Nadal made his latest comeback from injury at the Barcelona Open in April, and has since competed at the Masters 1000 tournaments in Madrid and Rome.

The Mallorcan reached the second round in Barcelona, the fourth round in Madrid and the second round in Rome — playing eight matches across the three clay-court events.

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Corretja, a finalist at the French Open in 1998 and 2001, believes it will be a “gift” if his great compatriot plays in Paris — whatever the outcome.

“We are waiting Rafa. Yes. Open arms for him,” Corretja told Eurosport. “Everybody is hoping that he’s going to be healthy and that we know that he’s getting ready.

“He’s been practising on Chatrier to test himself and I think he needs to let it go, just go for everything he has. I think it’s difficult to talk from the outside, but I hope that he can just go there and just do whatever he can.

“I’m not expecting anything, it’s just go play and whatever comes is going to be a gift. He doesn’t need to prove anything else. Not even to himself, not even to the whole world.

“So if he is able to be there and play one match, two matches, three matches, every match, every time he jumps on court he will be given the recognition he deserves.

“It’s going to be a party. It’s going to be something unbelievable and the crowd is going to be crazy with him. That’s why we need Rafa in the tournament. I think it’s going to be a major thing to have him in Roland Garros this year.”

Nadal, a 22-time Grand Slam champion, will be unseeded at Roland Garros due to his current ranking of world No 276. This means he could face any player, including world No 1 Novak Djokovic, as early as the first round.

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