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Madrid Open: Rafael Nadal falls to Jiri Lehecka in final match in Spanish capital



Madrid Open: Rafael Nadal falls to Jiri Lehecka in final match in Spanish capital

Rafael Nadal says it has been a “very emotional” week after he made his last-ever look on the Madrid Open.

The previous world primary, a 5 time champion within the Spanish capital, waved an emotional farewell to the event after dropping in straight units to Jiri Lehecka.

The 37-year-old has indicated he plans to retire after the 2024 season.

“I am pleased,” Nadal mentioned after the 7-5 6-4 defeat.

“It was a really particular week for me, very constructive and really emotional. I had the chance to play yet another time right here on this court docket.

“All I can say is thanks to everybody that has helped me in my profession. It hasn’t completed but.”

Regardless of dropping, Nadal’s earlier success on the event was celebrated with a video tribute and he was awarded a commemorative trophy.

“This was a joke, as a result of I will be again subsequent 12 months,” mentioned Nadal, along with his household watching on from the stands.

He added: “It has been a present what you have given me right here.

“The emotion that I get from this expertise in Madrid, from the Spanish public… I used to be fortunate as a child to do the job that I like. I really feel tremendous lucky to have lived the life that I’ve lived. I could not ask for something extra.”

Nadal held agency within the opening levels, however Lehecka delivered the primary blow at 5-5 and backed the break up with a maintain to like to say the opening set.

The Czech thirtieth seed continued to outpower the 22-time Grand Slam champion, who dropped serve early within the second set.

A raucous crowd in Manolo Santana Stadium roared on their residence hope, however the sole break of serve proved sufficient for Lehecka to wrap up the after victory along with his first match level after two hours three minutes.

He’ll face Russian third seed Daniil Medvedev, who defeated Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik 7-6 (7-3) 6-4.

In the meantime, Nadal, who made his return from a three-month harm absence on the Barcelona Open earlier this month, will take confidence from his three victories in Madrid that he can compete on the French Open for a last time.

A 14-time champion at Roland Garros, he missed the event for the primary time in 19 years by harm in 2023.

The French Open, the second Grand Slam event of the 12 months, begins on 26 Might.

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