Why not? – Mats Wilander urges Rafael Nadal to return to French Open in 2025

Rafael Nadal has been urged not to retire this year and instead come back for another tilt at a 15th French Open title in 2025.

The 22-time grand slam winner has not closed the door completely on a return next year but maintains there is a “big chance” he will end his career after the Olympics, which will also be played at Roland Garros.

Nadal was unseeded in Paris due to his prolonged injury absence which left him susceptible to a nightmare draw, which is exactly what he got.

The Spaniard was beaten 6-3 7-6 (5) 6-3 by in-form fourth seed Alexander Zverev in the first round.

France Tennis French Open
Nadal was beaten in straight sets by Alexander Zverev on Monday (Thibault Camus/AP)

“Obviously the Olympics are huge and for him to have the chance to play on Phillipe Chatrier is amazing and could be an unbelievable end to his career,” Eurosport expert Wilander said.

“But he’s too competitive, he’s playing too good. I think he beats 90 per cent of the draw. There’s only a few guys that would beat him playing this well.

“And Zverev was the worst opponent possible in the first round, worse that playing (Novak) Djokovic, worse than playing (Carlos) Alcaraz.

“Also the circumstances; it’s indoor, cold outside, the ball doesn’t travel. So I think all that, and still being so close – it’s all positive for Rafa and with that passion, why not? He knows how to win big matches on this court.”

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