Rafael Nadal makes candid confession as he addresses whether 2024 will be his final season
Rafael Nadal has admitted there are “chances” his 2024 comeback will last “only half a year” and “many chances” that next year will be his final season on tour.
The tennis legend explained he does not want to set a definitive deadline on how much longer he will play as there are a range of possibilities determined by how his body reacts.
Nadal has not played since sustaining a hip injury in his second round loss to Mackenzie McDonald at the 2023 Australian Open in January. The former world No 1 underwent surgery to address the issue in June, having initially expected to be out for only six to eight weeks.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion was forced to postpone his planned comeback during this year’s clay-court season and missed the French Open for the first time since 2004.
The 37-year-old revealed in a press conference announcing his withdrawal from the clay-court Major that 2024 would likely be his final season on the tour.
Nadal announced last week that he would be making his long-awaited return to action at the Brisbane International tournament in January in preparation for the 2024 Australian Open.
In a video shared on social media, Nadal divulged it was likely that 2024 would be his last year as a professional, although he did not rule out the prospect of playing longer if he is able to.
Mi última reflexión tras el anuncio… 📣
👉🏻 claro que he pensado que no tenía sentido (volver a competir)… que son muchos años…
👉🏻 He luchado y he mantenido la ilusión en todo momento
👉🏻 He tenido la gente adecuada a mi alrededor como siempre he tenido en toda mi carrera…… pic.twitter.com/xLnHMdZTqD
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) December 7, 2023
“It is a reality, there are many chances that it will be my last year without any doubt. There are chances that it may only be half a year, there are possibilities it may be a full year, that we may not be able to reach all that,” the Spaniard said.
“These are things right now I do not have the capacity to be able to answer, this is the truth. I am only in conditions to say that I return to compete, that I continue having in my head that the normal thing, or that there are many possibilities that it is my last year, and I am going to enjoy the tournaments in that way.
“I do not want to announce it because in the end I do not know what can happen and I have to give myself the opportunity not to say one thing and then I can be a slave of what I have said.
“I think it is going to be like that, but I can’t be 100% sure because in the end I have worked a lot to come back to compete and if suddenly things and my physique allows me to continue and enjoy what I do – why am I going to set a deadline? I think it makes no sense.”
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