Nadal Vs Djokovic At French Open? Fans Desperate For Last Clash Of Legends At Roland Garros

While Rafael Nadal's participation at his pet Roland Garros event is still uncertain, Novak Djokovic's form going into the clay court Grand Slam has been disappointing. If they meet, it will in all likelihood be the final face-off of tennis' old guard

File photo of tennis legends Novak Djokovic (left) and Rafael Nadal.

The clock has been ticking, ever since Roger Federer retired. Though Novak Djokovic continues to display supreme stamina and fitness, Rafael Nadal is fighting a losing battle with injury. And thus, arises the question: will French Open 2024 give us the final face-off of tennis' old guard? (More Tennis News)

That Nadal is into the fag end of his career is a fact confirmed by the man himself. But will we even see him in action for one last time at the event he has made his own? We still do not know for sure.

“The idea is to go to Roland Garros, but we haven't decided anything yet. We will see how the next training goes. He lacks a bit of coaching rhythm. We go from day to day,” is what Nadal's coach Carlos Moya told Sportal.

Having played and reigned at the top-flight himself, the 47-year-old Moya understands the demands and challenges of playing elite tennis under the limelight, even when your body isn't your ally anymore. He also knows how much the clay court Grand Slam means to Nadal and his fans, and to what extent the Spanish legend will go for a final shot at the title.

In short, it is complicated. Nadal said as much after his 6-1, 6-3 loss to Hubert Hurkacz at the second round of the Italian Open in Rome.

“The decision, as you can imagine, is not clear in my mind today,” the titan said after the match. “But if I have to say what’s my feeling and if my mind is closer one way or the other way, I’m going to say: ‘Be in Roland Garros and try my best’. Physically I have some issues, but not probably enough to say [I’m] not playing in the most important event of my tennis career.

“Let’s see what’s going on, how I feel myself mentally tomorrow, after tomorrow, and in one week. If I feel ready, I’m going to try to be there and fight for the things that I have been fighting the last 15 years, [even] if now [it] seems impossible.”

As for Nadal's long-standing rival Djokovic, though injury is not a concern, recent form sure is. The world number one has suffered a sizeable slump and been having a torrid time this season, especially going by his exalted standards.

With no titles and not even a final appearance to his name in 2024, the Serbian has decided to accept a late wildcard for the Geneva Open - a move that has surprised many. This will be Djokovic's debut at the ATP 250 event and for his tournament opener, the soon-to-be 37-year-old might well take on another legend of the sport- Andy Murray.

The British veteran will meet Germany's Yannick Hanfmann in the first round of the Geneva event on Monday (May 20), and the winner will lock horns with 'Djoker' in round two. Murray himself is looked at by many as a luminous member of men's singles tennis' old guard, but recurring injuries over the years have taken a huge toll on the 37-year-old, who has said that he is likely to retire after this summer.

Tennis lovers hence find themselves playing the familiar yet dreaded waiting game, when it comes to Nadal, Djokovic, the French Open and beyond. Will they, won't they (clash one last time)? We must endure a bit more to find out.