May 24, 2024

Serena Williams’ former coach Rennae Stubbs and former American tennis player Sam Querrey have shared their thoughts on Rafael Nadal bringing a fitting end to his career at the 2024 French Open. Stubbs, in particular, stressed that the Spaniard shouldn’t bid farewell to his career in the same manner Steffi Graf did.

Stubbs and Querrey recently shared their preview of the French Open on the ‘Rennae Stubbs Tennis Podcast.’ They turned their attention to the compelling narrative of the ‘King of Clay’ Nadal potentially making his final appearance at the claycourt Major in pursuit of his record-extending 15th title.

Querrey expressed his eagerness to witness the Spaniard in action at the French Open, even if he suffers a resounding defeat in the first round. He emphasized the emotional significance for fans to gain “closure” on the 22-time Grand Slam champion’s career and bid him farewell at his familiar hunting ground.

“As a tennis fan, I want to see what the embrace is like from the crowd on Center Court as he walks off with a 30-minute celebration, people will be crying. As a fan, I need the closure. I need to see how it’s going to end,” he said (at 27:26).

Stubbs, who coached Serena Williams in her final tournament at the 2022 US Open, anticipated being among the teary-eyed fans.

“I will for sure be one of those people crying,” Stubbs said.

Querrey then highlighted the importance of Rafael Nadal’s presence at the French Open, asserting that the tennis community won’t mind even if he loses in the first round. They will instead cherish the opportunity to see him compete, he added.

“He can’t just walk away into the darkness now. He owes it to the world to walk out there and like, no one will care if he gets crushed first round, I don’t think,” Querrey said.

Stubbs concurred, arguing that the Spaniard shouldn’t emulate Steffi Graf’s abrupt retirement.

“He cannot do a Steffi Graf and just poof, be gone,” Stubbs said.

Graf announced her decision to retire shortly after sustaining a hamstring injury at the 1999 TIG Classic in San Diego. The announcement sent shockwaves through the tennis community, as the German had won the French Open and reached the Wimbledon final that year.

“The world needs closure to the Rafael Nadal story, and it has to end at Roland Garros” – Sam Querrey

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal

Sam Querrey reiterated the need for “closure” to Rafael Nadal’s career, suggesting that the French Open should mark his final tournament.

“He can’t. Like I said, the world needs closure to the Rafael Nadal story and it has to end at Roland Garros,” Querrey said.

Meanwhile, Rennae Stubbs proposed that the upcoming Paris Olympics could also serve as a fitting conclusion to the Spaniard’s illustrious career.

“Or at the Olympics,” Stubbs responded.

It’s worth mentioning that the 22-time Grand Slam champion doesn’t seem inclined to end his career at the 2024 French Open, as his name is featured on the entry list for Wimbledon.

Nadal will commence his potentially final Roland Garros campaign against fourth seed Alexander Zverev. The duo last met in the semifinals of the 2022 French Open, where Zverev sustained a horrific ankle injury amid their fiercely contested battle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *