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Rafael Nadal ousted in straight sets at Roland Garros

SUSAN MULLANE-USA TODAY SPORTS
                                Rafael Nadal of Spain waves goodbye, today, after his match against Alexander Zverev of Germany on day two of Roland Garros at Stade Roland Garros.
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SUSAN MULLANE-USA TODAY SPORTS

Rafael Nadal of Spain waves goodbye, today, after his match against Alexander Zverev of Germany on day two of Roland Garros at Stade Roland Garros.

German Alexander Zverev defeated Rafael Nadal in straight sets at the French Open today, ending what could be the Spaniard’s final career appearance at Roland Garros.

Zverev defeated the 14-time French champion 6-3, 7-4 (4), 6-3 in Paris to advance to the second round.

“To be honest I don’t know what to say. First of all, thank you Rafa from all of the tennis world. It’s such a great honor,” Zverev said in his on-court interview. “I’ve watched Rafa play all my childhood and I was lucky enough to play Rafa when I became a professional. I was lucky enough to play him two times on this beautiful court.

“I don’t know what to say. Today is not my moment, it’s Rafa’s moment, so thank you.”

Zverev becomes just the third player to defeat Nadal at Roland Garros, joining Novak Djokovic (twice) and Robin Soderling. Nadal, who fell to 112-4 on the clay in France, owns 22 Grand Slam titles but missed last year’s French Open dealing with injuries.

“It’s difficult for me to talk. I don’t know if it’s going to be the last time that I’m going to be here in front of all of you, honestly,” Nadal said. “I am not 100 percent sure, but if it’s the last time, I enjoyed it.

“The crowd has been amazing during the whole week of preparation and the feelings that I have today are difficult to describe in words. But for me it’s so special to feel the love of the people the way that I felt in the place that I love the most.”

In other action today, No. 2 seed Jannik Sinner of Italy defeated Christopher Eubanks in straight sets and ninth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece advanced in straight sets over Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics, 7-6 (7), 6-4, 6-1.

No. 15 Ben Shelton rallied to beat Hugo Gaston of France after dropping the opening set and No. 21 Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada advanced in straight sets with a victory over Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka.

German qualifier Henri Square beat Australia’s Max Purcell 6-2, 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (10) to advance.

South Korea’s Soonwoo Kwon, Russia’s Karen Khachanov, Slovakia’s Jozef Kovalik and Kazakhstan’s Alexander Shevchenko also advanced.

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