Rafael Nadal, who faces Norway’s Casper Ruud in the final of the 2022 French Open, has said that he would “prefer” to lose Sunday’s final if it guaranteed him a new left foot.

Speaking ahead of the clash that could see the Spaniard extend his Grand Slam titles lead further over fellow greats Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, Nadal, to everyone’s surprise said he’d prefer losing.

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“Without a doubt, I’d prefer to lose the final,” said the Spaniard, who turned 36 on Friday.

“My opinion does not change. A new foot would allow me to be happier in my daily life. Winning is very nice and gives you an adrenaline rush, but it’s temporary and then you have to go on living,” Nadal said, explaining his stance.

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“I have a life ahead of me and in the future I would love to play sports with my friends. My happiness goes ahead of any title,” insisted the 21-time Grand Slam winner.

The Spaniard also went on sympathise with world number three Alex Zverev, who crashed out of the semi-final against Nadal with a sprained ankle.

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“If you are human, you feel sorry for a colleague. It was an accident, it was just an unlucky moment,” said the 36-year-old, commenting on his German opponent’s retirement from the semi-final.

“It’s not easy to talk about. I hope that he’s not too badly injured, I hope it’s not broken. I was with him when he was having the ultra-sound,” the Spaniard added, wishing fellow player Zverev a speedy recovery from his horror injury.