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After Back-to-Back Defeats, Rafael Nadal Admits Backing Out of an Important Race Owing to His Aging Body – ‘I Will Never Be Following That Goal’

Published 11/16/2022, 5:00 AM EST

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Rafael Nadal wants to finish the year strong, just like he started it. The tennis player was almost invincible on the Tour after winning two Grand Slam tournaments, the Australian Open and the French Open. When it came down to the final part of the season, though, the Spanish legend’s hopes of finishing the year as the world’s top-ranked player suffered another blow. After dealing with numerous injuries and staying away from several tournaments due to personal reasons, Nadal no longer holds that belief.

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The tennis pro struggled in the US Open before making a comeback at the Paris Masters and eventually competing in the ATP finals. However, in his second round-robin match, Felix Auger-Aliassime defeated the 22-time Grand Slam champion.


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Rafael Nadal talks about the difficulties of competing at his age

Rafael Nadal was keen to end the year at the top of the ATP rankings. However, he now feels that his body doesn’t support his desire to end the year as the world no.1. In the post-match press conference, the Spaniard opened up about his issues. He said, “You know, of course, finish the season as the world number one. It’s a great achievement and would be an amazing achievement at this stage of my career.” 

Although the 36-year-old tennis great is doing his best to compete, his aging body is not as supportive as that of the younger players. He said, “But on the other hand I say that, I will never be following that goal again and that happens because the situation brings me to that position, fantastic, but my body, my age, my personal situation don’t allow me to follow that goal anymore.” 


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‘Disingenuous’ Rafael Nadal’s ‘Ridiculous’ Injury Excuse Irks Novak Djokovic Fans as They Call Out the ‘Annoying’ Spaniard

Further, the current world number two also talked about how it’s difficult competing against the young guys who are in high spirits. 

Nadal needs to win his next match


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The Spaniard needs to win the next match and advance into the red group in order to secure the year-end world number one ranking. The 23-year-old Casper Ruud will be the next opponent for Nadal in the ATP finals round-robin stage.

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Nadal could move up to the number one ranking by winning the ATP Finals. However, another fellow Spaniard, Carlos Alcaraz, 19, who won this year’s US Open will remain the world‘s top-ranked tennis player if both Nadal fails to win the tournament.


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WATCH THIS STORY – Rafael Nadal’s Top 5 Worst Injuries

Although Nadal finishing the year as the ATP world no.1 is unlikely, fans of the Spaniard will be hoping for a miracle in the latter stages of the ATP Finals. Can Nadal make it to the semifinals in Turin? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Written by:

Pratishtha Prakash


One take at a time

Pratishtha Prakash is a Tennis writer at EssentiallySports. She has completed her Bachelor’s degree in Mass Media and Journalism from MIT ADT University, Pune. In the past, she has interned at the sports desk of The Hitavada, a regional English daily newspaper.
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Edited by:

Tony Thomas