2022 French Open — Rafa Nadal, already in Paris, will get to see Real Madrid and Liverpool in Champions League final

2022 French Open — Rafa Nadal, already in Paris, will get to see Real Madrid and Liverpool in Champions League final

PARIS — Rafael Nadal plan to take his attention off his bid for a 14th French Open title on Saturday evening when he travels to the Stade de France to watch his beloved Real Madrid face Liverpool in the Champions League final as they seek to secure their 14th European Cup triumph.

« Tomorrow, let’s see how I wake up tomorrow, because, you know, you never know with my body, » Nadal said. « But if nothing happens, and I expect nothing happens, and if I’m able to have the right practice tomorrow, yeah, my intention and my goal is be there. »

Nadal came through his third-round match against Botic van de Zandschulp in straight sets Friday. He has been in dominant form at Roland Garros, but always had half an eye on Saturday’s Liverpool-Real Madrid matchup. The scheduling means he’ll have Saturday as a rest day, so he’ll be free to attend the final.

« Well, I am here to play Roland Garros more than anything else, no? But of course I have my tickets already, » Nadal said this week.

The corner of Paris where Roland Garros lies is a sporting haven. There’s PSG’s ground Parc des Princes just down the road, while there’s also Stade Francais’ rugby ground Stade Jean-Bouin all within a mile radius. But with European domestic football’s biggest event in town Saturday, some of the players at Roland Garros need updates on the matchup between Real Madrid and Liverpool some 7 miles from this clay-court paradise.

Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman booked his place in the fourth round with a straight-sets win over Grigor Dimitrov earlier on Friday, and he used his postmatch press conference to plea for a ticket. « Roland Garros, please ask for tickets for tomorrow. I know you can do it! » Schwartzman said, smiling. « President of Roland Garros, president of the Federation. I can go alone, eh? It’s OK. »

Schwartzman is a Boca Juniors fan but when asked for his final prediction, said it was too « difficult to say » who’d win.

Paula Badosa went to the Champions League semifinal between Real Madrid and Manchester City and is backing the Spanish team to come through. And Marin Cilic also will be supporting Real Madrid, and specifically fellow countryman Luka Modric. « I don’t have a ticket, » Cilic said. « I was not planning to go, but I support Luka, I support Luka. Real Madrid, of course. »

There were further reminders of the other show in town at Roland Garros. Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had front-row tickets for Court Philippe-Chatrier to watch Novak Djokovic — politely applauding Djokovic’s comfortable triumph at the end — with ex-Dutch international and Real Madrid star Clarence Seedorf sitting behind him. And French great Zinedine Zidane also was in attendance at Roland Garros on Friday, sitting two seats away from actor Owen Wilson.


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