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Rafael Nadal refuses to rule out French Open return in 2025 despite retirement

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Rafael Nadal has revealed this year’s French Open may not be his last after all.

The 14-time Roland Garros champion had previously said he expects to retire after the current season.

But Nadal, 37, performed something of a volte-face in Paris on Saturday by not ruling out a return.

The Spaniard said: “In terms if that’s going to be my last Roland Garros, it’s a long answer, but I think I need to answer that, because we’re going to avoid future questions since the beginning – so I’m going to do it.

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Fourteen-time champion Nadal is looking forward to participating at the French Open

“As I said, it’s a big, big chance that it’s going to be my last Roland Garros, but if I have to tell you it’s 100 per cent my last Roland Garros, sorry, but I will not, because I cannot predict what’s going on. I hope you understand.

“Myself, I have been going through a long process of recovery with a very difficult injury, almost two years of suffering, a recovering process that seems like I feel better now.

“I am not a guy that reacts because I lost there or I lost in the other place, no? I react about my personal feelings, and my personal feelings are better now than one month and a half ago, without a doubt.

“So in some way I don’t want to close, 100 per cent, the door, because of a very simple thing.

“First thing, I am enjoying playing tennis. Second thing, I am travelling with the family. They are enjoying and I am enjoying sharing all this process with them.

“And the third thing, I was not able to explore yet the proper way how I will be able to play in more or less healthy conditions, playing without limitation.

“So give me some time. Maybe in one month and a half I say, ‘okay it’s enough, I can’t keep going’, but today in some way I cannot guarantee that that’s going to be the last one. But of course it’s a big chance.”

Nadal, unseeded this year for the first time, faces world No 4 Alexander Zverev in the first round on Monday.

“Of course on the paper it’s not the best draw,” he added.

“I play against one of the toughest opponents possible, and at the same time, he came here winning the last event and it’s a Masters 1000. It’s not a small one. So just, yeah, what can I do? That’s the draw. Just try to be ready for it.”

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