Rafael Nadal eliminated in the first round of Roland-Garros

27 May 2024 / Jerome Goulon

It’s a moment in history that we witnessed this afternoon at Roland-Garros. For the first time, Rafael Nadal, 37, lost in the first round of the tournament which he won 14 times, a record.

The Spanish champion lost in three sets against the German Alexander Zverev (6-3 / 7-6 / 6-3), for what looked like his last appearance on Parisian clay. In physical decline and undermined by injuries, Rafael Nadal was uncertain for the tournament for a long time, before finally trying his luck. The unkind draw unfortunately gave Rafa little chance of going further this year.

At the end of the meeting, the Spaniard left a small door open to the fact that he could one day return to Roland-Garros, even if the chances remain slim, warmly thanking the public for their support over all these years and declaring “This is the last time I stand here in front of you. Well, I'm not 100% sure. If this is the last time, I would have taken advantage of the moment” before concluding “I hope to see you again…”

As a reminder, Rafael Nadal won Roland-Garros in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2022, an absolute record in the tournament.