‘Rafael Nadal has room to play for a few more years,’ says Toni Nadal

Rafael Nadal 2019 year-end No 1

Rafael Nadal still has a “few more years” left in tennis, according to his former coach and uncle Toni Nadal.

The 2019 season has been another exceptional one for Nadal as he won two more Grand Slams to take his major tally to 19 while he also won two ATP Masters 1000 titles and finished the year as the world No 1.

His year, though, was also disrupted by injuries as he missed large chunks of the US hard-court season early in the year and was also forced to withdraw from several tournaments after the US Open due to an abdominal problem.

But the fact that he continues to play at such a high level at the age of 33 proves that he can continue for a few more years, according to Toni.

“I heard many experts predict that his career would be short, but the reality is that he has been on the circuit since 2003 and competing at the top level since 2005. He has been competing at an elite level for 15 years,” he told Spanish publication AS.com.

“I think he has room to play a few more years. It will depend his tennis and how others evolve. If there are young people who make it too difficult every week you could decide to step away. But I don’t think that will happen.”

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He was also asked whether or not Rafael will surpass Roger Federer’s record of 20 Grand Slams.

Although he is fairly confident about his nephew’s chances, he concedes that the next generation are edging closer.

“As things stand, he is favourite [to win another title] at Roland Garros,” he said. “In Australia, Wimbledon and the US Open he will also be among the favourites.

“You will have other options… like [Stefanos] Tsitsipas, [Daniil] Medvedev and [Alexander] Zverev are likely to take another step. I think there is going to be a change now because Tsitsipas and [Dominic] Thiem produced great results at the ATP Finals and things are starting to get closer.”

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