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In Just a Few Days Rafa Nadal Will Carry His Insane 112-3 French Open Record Into His Roland Garros Farewell, As He Draws World No. 4 Alexander Zverev In The First Round

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Next week's French Open will more than likely mark the final visit for Rafael Nadal. It's honestly a prayer he's gotten his body in decent enough shape to be able to do this dance one more time, but he's been pushing hard in the last month or so. 

Now the way the French Open draw goes is usually chaotic. The French are maniacs for this kind of thing. Some believe they just manipulate it how they see fit. Others believe it's truly random. Well, how would they match up Rafa for his last dance? A preposterous 112-3 all time at Roland Garros. 14 titles. The king of clay. Here's your retirement present!

How's the world no.4 sound? Either the French hate this guy or it's truly a random draw because that's an insanely brutal opening match. Here's how his road to the final would shake up if the higher seeds all won. 

While the Zverev matchup is fucking brutal, here's a few positives for Nadal. First of all, if you're going to play someone like Zverev, it's best to go about it as fresh as possible, early in the tournament. If Rafa were to see him in let's say the 4th round, he'd be drained physically and certainly get rolled. An early encounter could allow Rafa to come out firing and maintain it a little. Also, if he were to lose to Zverev there's really no shame in that. If he got boat raced by a nobody that'd be a tough end to his career there. 

Still, that's an insane first round matchup from both sides. The way it worked out, he was either playing Carlos or Zverev in round one. They asked Carlos about it and he wanted nothing to do with that possibility. 

When Zverev found out about it yesterday he thought his brother was fucking with him. 

(ESPN) "I actually thought he was joking in the beginning. But then, yeah, it is what it is. I mean, obviously, to be very honest, I wanted to play Rafa again in my career, in his career, because I didn't want my last memory of me playing against Rafa to be me leaving the court in a wheelchair.

"Ideally, I would have liked to play him in the latter stage of the tournament. It's a tough draw, but it's a tough draw for both of us. We'll see how it goes on Monday."

You might read that and wonder what Zverev was referencing about the wheel chair. That'd be the 2022 semifinals of the French when Zverev tore multiple ligaments in his foot. Sidelined him for nearly a whole year. That match looked like it had all the makings of an all-timer with Zverev giving Rafa hell, all to end abruptly with one turn of his ankle.

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It's taken Zverev some time to get back to this level, but he's finally here playing at the best of his abilities. He's awesome on clay and has as good of a chance as any to hoist the trophy in two weeks. Of course he's got his off the court issues to also worry about, with his domestic violence hearing happening mid-tournament. He doesn't need to be present for it, but it's definitely a cloud hanging over his head. 

At the moment Zverev sits as a -400 favorite. A size-able amount, but low enough where Rafa is still garnering some respect. Based off how both have looked over the last month Zverev should discard Rafa in straight sets. There is plenty of magic to this event for Nadal though that you cannot ignore. He knows this place literally better than any human who has ever been born. As I also alluded to earlier, Rafa being fresh for this helps him way more than Zverev being fresh. He's going to have to win the first set to give himself momentum and belief that he can do this thing. The crowd will be entirely behind him. Monday should be incredible. They haven't released a time yet but I'm hoping around 10am eastern for selfish reasons. 

I just hope he goes out with some vintage moments. He's not winning this tournament at his current state, but maybe he's got one more incredible match left in him to stun Zverev. Federer sadly never got this kind of swan song at Wimbledon. His body just broke down and forced him to step away. Rafa deserves to have his moment. Monday we shall see.