Rafael Nadal has practiced in Paris for the first time ahead of the French Open, with fans flocking to Court Philippe Chatrier to catch a glimpse of the Spanish legend.
In almost unprecedented scenes, the tennis-hungry Parisian public - perhaps cognisant of the small chance that this could be Nadal's last visit to the French Open following his comments after the recent Italian Open - packed the stands to watch the 35-year-old hit with fellow Spaniard Jaume Munar.
Nadal's participation in the tournament has been the subject of much conjecture and he even hinted at his possible retirement from the sport after losing to Denis Shapovalov in Rome, a match during which Nadal could be seen limping and grimacing due to a flare-up of his chronic foot condition.
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Talking after that encounter, Nadal had said: "I am not injured. I am living with an injury. My day by day is difficult.
"I am trying hard but of course it's difficult to accept the situation at times. A lot of days I can't practise the proper way.
"[Against Shapovalov] it started halfway through the second set and it was unplayable for me.
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"I imagine there will come a time when my head will say 'enough'.
"Pain takes away your happiness, not only in tennis but in life. And my problem is that many days I live with too much pain.
"[Roland-Garros is] still the goal. I'll still keep dreaming."
But he appeared more comfortable on court than in the Italian capital, and looks to be preparing for another tilt at what would be a remarkable, record-extending 14th title in Paris.
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