Nadal says it’s difficult for him to talk as he doesn’t know if this is going to be the last time he plays in front of this

incredible crowd – he’s not 100% sure but if this is the last time he’s enjoyed it. The crowd have been amazing throughout the week of preparation and feelings he has today are hard to describe but it’s so special to feel the love of the people in the place he loves most.

Otherwise, he congratulates Zverev for a great match and winning in Rome last week, wishing him the best for the tournament; he knows 2022 was super-tough. He’s had a tough time with injuries recently, going through the processes to get back to Roland and he was competitive but didn’t take his chances so lost to a great player. He thinks there’s a “big percentage” chance he doesn’t come back, but he’s travelling with the family and having fun; maybe in two months he says it’s enough, but he doesn’t feel that yet, hopes to back on Chatrier for the Olympics, which motivates him, and he hopes to be well prepared. The feelings he’s had on this court, he could never imagine he’d still be here at 28 – he corrects to 38 but wishes he was right first time – and it’s been a “beautiful process”.

He thanks all the people who’ve helped behind the scenes, his team and who work at Roland-Garros, and the crowd: “The feelings you make me feel here are just unforgettable,” he says, choking up. “Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart; I hope to see you again but i don’t know.”

What a player and what a mensch; I fear my eyeballs may be sweating.

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