Rafael Nadal – Photo Antonio Fraioli
The decision of Rafael Nadal The retirement of Roland Garros marks the end of a series of impressive records and represents very rare scenarios in the world of tennis. One of them concerns the fact that the Spaniard, current champion of the French Grand Slam, will not set foot on the red clay of Paris, to try to defend his title.
To understand the extraordinary nature of this situation, we have to go back 32 years. The last time there was such an event was in 1992, when Andrés Gomez decided not to take part in the Paris tournament, despite having won the previous edition in 1991.
This is a very rare circumstance. Before Gomez, only two other tennis players found themselves in the same situation: Bjorn Borg in 1982 and Rod Laver in 1970. Both were defending Roland Garros champions and decided not to compete in the year after their victory.
Final Agassi vs. Gomez Roland Garros 1991
Nadal’s decision not to compete at Roland Garros this year not only ends his impressive winning streak at the tournament, it also marks a historic moment in tennis.
Nadal’s absence from Paris this year will surely feel both the fans and his opponents. However, his absence also opens the door to new potential champions and offers a unique opportunity for aspiring tennis players to make their mark on the Roland Garros clay courts.