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“Maybe I’ll still play at Roland Garros.” Revelations from Nadal, 38, who is fighting injuries

Date: July 15, 2024 Time: 04:50:22

The Big Three have not officially existed for almost two years. In September 2022, Roger Federer announced his retirement, after which he played in the Laver Cup and left. Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are also gradually losing ground under pressure from young stars such as Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner. Djokovic is still holding out, but it’s already June on the calendar and he still hasn’t reached the final this season, let alone won any titles. The last time this happened to Novak was in 2018.

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Nadal, unlike Djokovic, no longer plays regularly on tour. And if he could have suffered less damage somewhere in a parallel world, then he cannot escape age. At the recently concluded Roland Garros, the Spanish tennis player, who won the Paris Major 14 times, lost in the first round, something that had never happened to him. In an interview with French publication L’Equipe, Rafael, who turned 38 on June 3, admitted that he could have ended his career much earlier due to injuries.

“Could you have finished earlier? Yes, sure. And more than once. Periodically I had problems, I couldn’t train, it no longer gave me joy. When I don’t like it, when I’m too physically limited, it doesn’t make sense to do it every day. Absolutely. Especially when you are 38 years old, when you have a family and a career behind you like the one I had. However, I always had people around me who helped me, whether it was my family or my team. And I have always been able to maintain mental stability,” Nadal said.

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Even in his youth, the Spaniard was not exempt from injuries that forced him to miss tournaments, but as he approaches 40 years of age, the body’s ability to recover is no longer what it used to be. In 2023, Rafael lost in the second round of the Australian Open and then missed the entire season. This year, Roland Garros director Amelie Mauresmo, suspecting that Rafa would never compete in a clay major again as an active tennis player, promised to give Nadal a royal farewell. But at the last moment she refused, explaining that he hoped to play in Paris next year.

“In the tournament they offered that opportunity. Amelie Mauresmo talked about this with my team. At first I said: okay, let’s do it! But at the last minute I really didn’t want to do it. I understand that Roland Garros wants to recognize me for what I have achieved. However, I would be sad to announce that this is the last time I play in a tournament, knowing that I do not have the opportunity to prepare as I would like. Nothing stops you from waiting another year.

Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros 2024

Photo: Clive Mason/Getty Images

Just like now, and before the start of this Roland Garros, I was not sure of anything. I preferred not to accept the idea of ​​being honored. This would effectively force me to not play here anymore. And at that moment I was not prepared for this,” says the Spaniard.

Rafael made it clear that he would end his career not before being internally prepared for it. “I never made hasty decisions. And this time they won’t be there either. My feelings over the past few weeks have made me reconsider my career plans. I feel like I’m enjoying the game again and I don’t rule out the possibility of playing at Roland Garros next year. I want to see if my physical condition will remain at this level or if it is just a passing sensation.

I’ll see how I feel after the Olympics. And then I’ll make a decision. And I will do it calmly, with the satisfaction of knowing that I always gave my best. I will make a decision without problem. I said: I think this is my last season. But now I can’t be sure of this. Nobody knows what will happen in the future,” he added.

Rafael Nadal at a press conference in Brisbane in 2024

Photo: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

And the famous tennis coach Patrick Mouratoglou expressed the opinion that Nadal can not only compete at Roland Garros, but also win it! “Everyone thought that this could be Rafa’s last game, that he was supposedly no longer prepared to compete at this level. But all these claims are completely false. I think that if he performs well at the Olympic Games, next year he could become a potential winner of Roland Garros,” ESPN quotes Mouratoglou.

Nadal’s immediate plans

We can talk about 2025 a little later, but for now let’s review Rafa’s agenda for the coming months. He will miss Wimbledon, which is understandable. Five-set matches on grass are not the best way to prepare for the Paris Olympics, which will be played on the same courts as Roland Garros.

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“At the press conference after the Roland Garros match they asked me about my summer schedule and since then I have been training on clay. It was announced that I would play in the Paris Olympics, my last Olympics. In this sense, we believe that the best thing for my body is not to change surfaces and continue playing on clay. “That is why I will not compete at Wimbledon this year,” Nadal explained on social media the decision to skip the London major.

Before the Games, Rafael will perform in Båstad, where he received a wild card. 19 years ago he won this tournament, also known as the Swedish Open. “To prepare for the Olympic Games, I will play in Båstad. A tournament in which I participated at the beginning of my career and where I had a great time both on and off the court. I hope to see you all there,” he wrote on social media.

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And after the Olympic Games, everyone, and first of all Nadal himself, will be more or less clear in which direction to move: either aim for another performance at Roland Garros or say goodbye.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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