ALEXANDER Zverev believes the 2023 French Open could be the last time we see Rafael Nadal on a tennis court.
The German world No12 has returned to the sport this year after a horrific injury which saw him tear three ligaments in his right ankle during his semi-final match against Nadal at Roland Garros in 2022.
Zverev and Nadal met in semi-finals of the 2022 French Open where the German tore three ligaments in his ankle
But as Zverev looks forward to a year in which he hopes brings a first ever Grand Slam title, he believes that it could be the last for the tennis legend.
Not only this, the former No2 believes the Spaniard will take his last bow by claiming his 15th title on the famous clay court at the French Open.
Speaking to Eurosport, Zverev said: “Rafael Nadal will announce his retirement at Roland Garros.
“I don’t wish him this, but I think he will play a big tournament, maybe wins it and then says goodbye.”
Speculation of retirement has surrounded Nadal for the last few years, yet rumours have always been shut down by the 22-time Slam winner.
But at 36, Nadal has shown no signs of slowing down, claiming the Australian and French Open titles last year whilst sitting second in the world rankings behind countryman Carlos Alcaraz.
If Nadal was too retire, he would join long-time friend Roger Federer who decided to call it a day on his career last year, four years after his final Grand Slam win in Australia 2018.
Before any talk of retirement continues however, both Zeverev and Nadal have the Australian Open to focus on.
The two met in Melbourne back in 2017, with Nadal edging out the win over five sets in the round of 32.
If they were to meet again in 2023 it would be at the Rod Laver Stadium in the final, with the players being in opposite sides of the draw.
First, Zverev will have to take on a qualifier in the first round whilst Nadal will meet Great Britain’s Jack Draper as he looks to add a 23rd Grand Slam title to his collection, the most of any player in history.