Nadal starts French Open swansong against in-form Zverev

Fourteen-time champion Rafael Nadal will start his final French Open campaign against the fourth seed Alexander Zverev from Germany.

The 37-year-old Spaniard, who has been plagued with injuries over the past 18 months, has dropped down the rankings to 276.

The former world number one last competed at the French Open in 2022 when he beat Casper Ruud in the final to brandish a record-extending 14th men's singles trophy. No other player has won more singles titles at the same event.

Despite Nadal's legendary status on the clay courts in Paris, Zverev will go into the clash as the favourite after his run to the Italian Open title in Rome.

“That’s going to be hard for Nadal," said tournament director Amélie Mauresmo after the draw at tthe Roland Garros stadium in Paris where the competition will be held from Sunday.

"But he is a warrior. Anything is possible with Rafa,” she added.

The men's top seed Novak Djokovic, who won in 2023, will start the defence of his crown against the local hero Pierre-Hugues Herbert.


The second seed Jannik Sinner and the third seed Carlos Alcaraz, who both missed the Italian Open due to injuries, will start their tilts for a first French Open title against Christopher Eubanks and a player from the qualifying tournament respectively.

“I’m starting to really feel at home here in Paris,” said Swiatek at the draw ceremony.

The women's final will take place on 8 June and the men's showdown follows on 9 June.

Read more on RFI English

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